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THE 

History of Battery B 

FIRST REGIMENT RHODE ISLANE) 
LIGHT ARTILLERY 

IN THE WAR TO PRESERVE THE UNION 
1861-186^ 



BY / 

JOHN H. 'RHODES 

Late Sergeant in the Battery 



ILLUSTRATED WITH PORTRAITS AND MAPS 



PROVIDENCE 

Snow & Farnham, Printers 

1894 



Entered according, to Act of Congress, in the year 1S93 

By JOHN H. RHODES 

in the office of the Librarian of Cong i' lington, D. C. 









sf6 




Sergt. John H. Rhodes. 



PREFACE 



THE reason for the existence of this book is an 
expressed desire on the part of the survivors of 
the battery whose history it attempts to record, that 
an account of their experience during the Civil War of 
1 861-5 should be compiled and published. 

In 1875, Lieut. Gideon Spencer, Rowland L. Dodge, and 
Daniel C. Taylor were by the members of Battery B Vete- 
ran Association appointed Historical Committee to collect 
records and other material of interest. 

In 1880, Daniel C. Taylor, chairman, reported for the com- 
mittee that nothing of importance had been accomplished 
and no progress made. At their own request the committee 
was discharged, and John Delevan appointed Historian, who, 
in 1885, reported progress, and was instructed to co-operate 
with Col. J. Albert Monroe, Regimental Historian for the 
Rhode Island Light Artillery. 

In 1890, Historian John Delevan reported that there was 
no prospect of a Regimental History of the Rhode Island 
Light Artillery being published, but hoped that Battery B 
might have one. 

The publishing of the history would have been a difficult 
task but for the action of the General Assembly at its Jan- 
uary session, 1891, in passing a Resolution (No. 14) to pur- 
chase 200 copies of any battery history published to the 
satisfaction of the Secretary of State. 

At a meeting of the Executive Committee of Battery B 
Veteran Association, March 28, 1891, I made the following 



IV BATTERY B, FIRST K. I. LIGHT ARTILLERY. 

proposition : To compile and publish a history of the battery 
without any expense to the Association, if the records and 
other material that had been and should be collected by the 
historian or others be turned over to me. 

This offer the committee accepted, and at the annual 
reunion of the Association, held Aug. 13, 1S91, the mem- 
bers of Battery B Veteran Association approved the action 
of the Executive Committee. As author I make no claim 
to possess special qualifications for the work assumed, but 
being situated so that I could give the time which the work 
required, I have endeavored to bring to the front the honor- 
able part borne by Battery B. My aim has been to avoid 
all appearance of egotism for the battery in the narration 
of its career. Every precaution has been taken to assure 
the trustworthiness of the work ; yet some errors must be 
expected in this as in all histories covering the details of so 
many important events. If there is any matter of interest 
not mentioned it is because the writer was not informed of 
the same. • 

I hereby acknowledge and return thanks for assistance 
received from the officers and members of the battery ; to 
Adjutant-General Elisha Dyer and his assistants for their 
courtesy in giving free access to the records on file, and to 
all others not personally mentioned thanks are tendered for 
valuable information furnished 

The work is a plain statement of facts connected with the 
service of the organization, and if it proves satisfactory in a 
reasonable degree to the survivors and the public, I shall feel 
fully compensated for the labor. 

John H. Rhodes. 

Provipence, R. I.. April. 1893. 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 

Page. 

Introduction — Uniforms — The First Drill — A Bounty of 

Fifteen Dollars ........ 1 

CHAPTER II. 

Organization, Muster and Departure — First Rations Received 

— Journey to Point of Rocks, Md. ... 5 

CHAPTER III. 

Camp Sprague and Discipline — Washington, 1). C, and 

Vicinity . ...... .14 

CHAPTER IV. 

To Poolesville, Md., and Battle of Ball's Bluff— Picket Duty 

along the Potomac River . . . . . . 27 

CHAPTER V. 

Battery Reorganized — New Guns — Winter Quarters — 

Thanksgiving Day and Christmas in the South . • 47 

CHAPTER VI. 

March to Harper's Ferry and Bolivar — To Winchester, to the 
Support of General Banks in the Valley — Return to 
Washington ........ 65 

CHAPTER VII. 

Departure for the Peninsula, and Siege of Yorktown — Pass- 
ing through Long Bridge — Hampton Roads and the 
Monitor. ......... 67 



VI BATTERY B, FIRST R. I. LIGHT ARTILLERY. 

CHAPTER VIII. 

Page. 
March up the Peninsula, Battle of Fair Oaks, Seven Pines — 

York River, West Point, Cumberland Landing . . 85 

CHAPTER IX. 

Change of Base to the James River — Seven Days of Fighting 
— Battles of Savage's Station, Peach Orchard, White 
Oak Bridge, Glendale, and Malvern Hill . . . 95 

CHAPTER X. 

Harrison Landing — Evacuation of the Peninsula — Arrival at 

Alexandria . . . . . . . .106 

CHAPTER XI. 

Pursuit of General Lee into Maryland — Battle of Antietam 

— March to Harper's Ferry . . . . .119 

CHAPTER XII. 

March to Falmouth — Skirmishes by the Way — Epidemic 

Attack of Mutton 128 

CHAPTER XIII. 

Battle of Fredericksburg . . . . . .137 

CHAPTER XIV. 

In Winter Quarters near Falmouth, Va. — The Mud March — 

Granting of Furlough . . . . . .146 

CHAPTER XV. 

Preparation and Second Battle of Fredericksburg — Marye's 

Heights — The Artillery Brigade . . . .165 

CHAPTER XVI. 

The Campaign and Battle of Gettysburg — At Thorough- 
fare Gap — Peter Shevlin and the Canteens of Water 188 



CONTENTS. Vii 

CHAPTER XVII. 

Page. 

From Gettysburg to the Rappahannock — Battery B Reorgan- 
ized and New Guns ....... 220 

CHAPTER XVIII. 

Advance to Culpepper — From the Rapidan to Centreville — 

Battle of Bristoe Station ...... "238 

CHAPTER XIX. 

Centerville to the Rapidan — Batttle of Mine Run — Winter 

Quarters — Sword Presentation ..... 255 

CHAPTER XX. 

General Grant's Campaign — From the Wilderness to Cold 
Harbor — Battles of the Wilderness, Todd's Tavern, Po 
River, Spottsylvania, North Anna, and Cold Harbor 273 

CHAPTER XXI. 

General Grant's Flank Movement to South of the James — 
From Cold Harbor to Petersburg — Deep Bottom — Re- 
turn Home of the First Three Years' Men . . . 300 

CHAPTER XXII. 

Second Expedition of Deep Bottom — Battle of Reams's Sta- 
tion 323 

CHAPTER XXIII. 

The Winter Siege of Petersburg — The Battery Reorganized. 334 

CHAPTER XXIV. 

The Pursuit of the Confederate Army — General Lee's Sur- 
render at Appomattox ...... 343 

CHAPTER XXV. 

The Return to Rhode Island and Muster out of Service. 349 



Vlll BATTERY B, FIRST R. I. LIGHT ARTILLERY. 

ROSTER. 

PAGK. 

Names of Enlisted Men . . . . . . .351 

Roll of Men Temporarily Attached ..... 376 

APPENDIX A. 
The Gettysburg Gun ....... 379 

APPENDIX B. 

The Gettysburg Monument and Dedication . . . 395 

Index .......... 401 



LLUSTRATIONS, 



The Gettysburg Gun .... 
The Monument .... 

Marker on Godori's field 
Portrait of Author. .... 
Portrait of Capt. Thomas F. Vaughn 
Portrait of Capt. Walter O. Bartlett 
Portrait of Capt. John G. Hazard 
Portrait of Capt. T. Fred. Brown 
Portrait of Lieut. Horace S. Bloodgood 
Portrait of Lieut. William S. Perrin 
Portrait of Lieut. Josephs. Milne 
Portrait of Lieut Charles A. Brown 
Portrait of Lieut. Gideon Spencer 
Portrait of First Sergt. John T. Blake 
Portrait of First Sergt. Alanson A. William 
Portrait of First Sergt. John F. Hanson 
Portrait of Q. M. Sergt. Charles A. Libbey 
Portrait of Sergt. Albert Straight 
Portrait of Sergt. Pardon S. Walker 
Portrait of Sergt. Calvin L. Macomber 
Portrait of Corp. John Delevan 
Portrait of Corp. David B. Patterson 
Portrait of Corp. Calvin W. Rathbone 
Portrait of Corp. AVilliam P. Wells . 
Portrait of Private Lorenzo D. Budlong 
Portrait of Private Levi J. Cornell 
Portrait of Private Alfred G. Gardner 
Portrait of Private Caleb H. H. Green 
Portrait of Private George McGunnigle 
Portrait of Private William F. Reynolds 
Portrait of Private James Tillinghast 
Portrait of Private Merritt Tillinghast 
Portrait of Private Clark L. Woodmansee 



Frontispiece 

pposite page 394 

on page 399 

opposite Preface 

20 

57 
1 S3 
268 
150 
137 
214 
289 
345 
400 
400 
298 
375 
342 

59 
145 
4 
393 
378 
333 

46 
164 
272 

26 
118 

13 
94 

84 



opposite 
on 



BATTERY 1".. FIRST R. I. LIGHT ARTILLERY. 



MAPS. 



Union Troops represented thus 



Confederate Troops represented thus 

Artillery or Batteries represented thus ill ill ill j 



Fortifications: I nion, gggpg. Confederate 


■"^™ 




Map of Northern Virginia 


on back cover. 


Map of Washington and its Defences 


on page xi 


Map of Ball's Bluff .... 


opposite page 34 


Map of Fair Oaks and Seven Pines 




89 


Map of Savage's Station 




97 


Map of White Oak Bridge and Glendale 




99 


Map of Malvern Hill .... 




102 


Map of Antietam .... 




122 


Map of Fredericksburg 




140 


Map of Gettysburg . , . 




204 


Map of Bristoe Station . 




• 247 


Map of Mine Run .... 




259 


Map of Wilderness . 




• 275 


Map of Todd's Tavern and Po River 




279 


Map of the Bloody Angle at Spottsylvania 




284 


Map of North Anna .... 




■ 291 


Map of Cold Harbor . . . . . 




296 


Map of Deep Bottom .... 




' 311 


Map of Reams's Station 




' 326 


Map of Siege of Petersburg . . . . 




338 



MAT OP WASHINGTON AND ITS DEFENCES. 




i. Camp Sprague. 

j. Eckington Hospital. 

3. Soldiers' Home (Regu- 
Iars). 

4. Camp Bright/wood. 
5.' Camp Barry 



WASHINGTON AND ITS DEFENCES. 



CHAPTER I 



INTRODUCTION. 

IN response to the country's call, in 1861, for defenders of her 
honor, integrity, and principles of liberty, there gathered to- 
gether in the several armories of the State militia, youno- men 
full of patriotism, ambition and health, and offered their services. 
The First Regiment and Battery were formed, then the Second Regi- 
<mt and Second Battery also, and left for the seat of war. The sup- 
p. was greater than the demand, or more than could be equipped, 
for there still remained a goodly number that wished to go but 
could not, as the companies were full and off. Were these youno- 
men disheartened? No, not they. They were too patriotic to be 
discouraged, and could wait. They made their headquarters at the 
old armory of the Marine Corps of Artillery on Benefit Street, 
Providence, R. I,, and those that did not live in the city boarded at 
a Mrs. Greene's, on North Main Street, the state paying their 
board ; the others at their homes without pay. At the armory the 
men were drilled in marching, facing, and forming of detachments, 
and the manual of the piece pertaining to artillery drill. In a short 
time they became quite proficient in all the movements that could be 
performed in the armory. As their enthusiasm and patriotism in- 
creased so did their numbers, for at this time quite a number had 
enrolled their names for the Third Battery, and they were eager for 
the proposed field drill that had been talked of, but were waiting for 
uniforms. The uniforms came and were distributed to the men as far 
as they would go, as there were not enough for all, their number hav- 
ing increased since the order for them had been given. This uni- 
form consisted of pantaloons with a piece on the inside of leg down 
to the knee. They were called re-enforced pants. An outside 
shirt or tunic, which came down to the knee, was called a blouse. A 
high felt hat with one side turned up, a brass eagle pinned on to 
hold it, with brass cross cannons in front completed the outfit. They 



2 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [August, 

were distributed regardless of size or fit, which gave the boys the 
appearance of a gang of Chinamen, rather than gallant defenders 
of our country. But by exchanging with one another, they soon 
made a very respectable appearance, and it was decided to have a 
field drill. 

On the 10th of August, 1861, horses wei*e procured, and the men 
in uniform were detailed as drivers and cannoneers and two full de- 
tachments formed. Everything being in readiness they left the 
armory in column for the made land northwest of the old prison and 
west of the Park, and were commanded by a lieutenant of the Ma- 
rine Corps of Artillery, who was to drill them. They arrived on 
the field in fair condition, everything considered, accompanied by a 
large concourse of people of all sizes and condition to witness the 
fun. Considerable time was spent in explanation of the move- 
ments to the drivers. Then the drill commenced, and several move- 
ments were ordered. The drivers of the pieces executed them after 
a fashion, but the drivers of the caissons would stand fast or keep 
on marching, unless they received special orders, they thinking they 
were independent of the pieces. At last the lieutenant in very 
forcible language informed them that they must follow their pieces 
at all times, even if they went to h . 

What soon followed was convincing that the drivers were no dull 
scholars, and that they now fully understood the orders. The 
horses on the first piece were quite high spirited, and became very 
unmanageable hy the frequent starting and stopping, so at the next 
movement ordered, they suddenly wheeled from the line, and started 
for the city on a run, in spite of all the drivers could do to stop 
them. They ran into Exchange Place. The drivers of the caisson 
who belonged to the runaway piece, with the orders of the lieutenant 

fresh in their minds to follow their piece if it went to h , wheeled 

out of line, and with whip and spur urged their horses into a run 
after the piece in spite of the lieutenant, who shouted to them to 
halt. It now became very exciting ; the piece had disappeared out 
of sight, the caisson making a lively good time, and the lieutenant 
a close third in the race. Those left behind were watching the pro- 
ceedings with much perplexity and doubt, for in their ignorance of 
field drill were undecided whether it was a race, a runaway, or a 
part of the drill. The lieutenant finally succeeded in stopping the 
drivers of the caisson and asked them what they meant by leaving 
the line, and they very innocently reminded him of his instructions 



1861.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 3 

to them a few moments before, that they were to follow the piece, no 
matter where it went, and they supposed that they were only obey- 
ing orders regardless of expense. A sergeant who had been sent 
after the runaway piece now returned with it, and the drill was re- 
sumed, when another mishap took place, this time with the second 
piece. On the limber chest were seated three men, the order was 
given to countermarch, and in wheeling made a cramped short turn, 
breaking the pole short off, and the horses became entangled in their 
harnesses, the weight of the three men caused the limber chest to tilt 
forward, and the men on the ends jumped off. The chest being re- 
lieved of its weight suddenly tilted back, and the man that sat in 
the middle having nothing to cling to made an involuntary somer- 
sault backwards and landed astride of the trail, with his blouse 
turned up over his head. When asked about it he said that he was 
not in favor of that way for the cannoneers to dismount, and would 
rather be a driver. This ended the first field drill of the battery ; the 
pole was tied together and we went back to the armory, with not 
quite so much enthusiasm for field drill as formerly. But this was 
soon forgotten, for that night we received news that another battery, 
the Third, was to be enrolled the nexfday and go to the front, and 
the question of the hour was, who will be the lucky ones that would 
be accepted, for those that were accepted had to pass a thorough ex- 
amination, or they were told to wait until the next call. 

On the morning of the 12th of August there was a large number 
of young men gathered together at the door of the armory waiting 
for it to be opened, all eager to be enrolled, for the news had been 
circulated during the day before, and they did not mean to be behind. 
During the forenoon all sorts of stories and speculations were being 
circulated, but this was soon brought to a close by an order 
from Capt. William H. Parkhurst to form a line. Then the excite- 
ment was great, but the line was soon formed, and, when order and 
attention was gained, they were informed that the legislature at the 
recent session had repealed the bounty law of the April session, and 
provided in lieu of the thirty-six dollars bounty, a bounty of fifteen 
dollars to all who had enlisted since the 16th day of June, or who 
might thereafter enlist, so that instead of thirty-six dollars as we had 
been told we were to receive, only fifteen dollars state bounty would 
be given, and all that desired to accept this offer would have to sign 
anew so as to be enrolled. After an address by several others on 
the subject of bounty and enlistment, the line was dismissed, and the 



HISTORY OF BATTERY B, 



[August, 



boys gathered together in squads, and asking each other, " You go- 
ing to enlist again? I am." Others said to their friends, "Come 
on, I am going to sign again, I did not enlist for the bounty." Al- 
though there were some that were quite disappointed by the order, it 
may be said that all but two signed again during the day, and seve- 
ral new names were added. 




Corp. John Delevan. 



1861.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 



CHAPTER II. 



ORGANIZATION, MUSTER, AND DEPARTURE. 

THE 13th of August was a busy day at the Armory, by exam- 
ination of the men, for all had to pass a surgical examination 
by Doctors Rivers and Millar, and only those that stood the 
test of the surgeon's examination were accepted. There were some 
that looked down-hearted as they came from the examination, while 
others with smiling countenances would go skipping around the 
armory, — they had been accepted, and were going to serve their 
country in her hour of need. After the examination had closed, 
we were formed into line, and as the names were called the men 
would cross to the opposite side and fall into line. Those that were 
not uniformed had pants and blouses issued to them. About 3.30 
o'clock p. m. on the 13th day of August, 1861, the following mem- 
bers of the Third Rhode Island Battery were mustered into the 
United States service, for three years, by Colonel Loomis of the 
United States Army : 

As Organized and Mustered. 

Four commissioned officers and one hundred and thirty-seven men, 

namely : 

Captain. 



First Lieutenants. 
Raymond H. Perry, George W. Adams, 

Horace S. Bloodgood, Francis A. Smith. 

Quartermaster-Sergeant. First Sergeant. 

William S. Dyer. Jacob B. Lewis. 

Sergeants. 
Charles H. Adams, John T. Blake, 

Silas G. Tucker, George W. Blair. 

John McCoombs. 



HISTORY OF BATTERY B, 



[August, 



Corporals. ■ 

Darius N. Thurber, Jr., GeorCxE N. Talbot, 

David R. Patterson, David H. Phetteplace, 

Edwin A. Chace, Edward Whipple, 

Luther C. Olney, Washington C. Haskins, 

Charles A. Libby, Calvin W. Rathbone, 

Napoleon R. Clark, Edward H. Knowles. 



Artificers. 



Edward M. Peckham, 
Daniel R. Thurston, 
Isaac W. Slack, 



Daniel C. Taylor, 
Welcome G. Tucker, 
George O. Scott. 



Guidon. 
Rowland L. Dodge. 



First Bugler. 
Eden S. Crowningshield, 



Second Bugler. 
Henry Cokely. 



Adlington, Henry 
Andrews, Mo wry 
Andrews, Albert 
Aspinwall, John 
Austin, Russell 
Rallou, Henry H. 
Rartlett, Frederick 
Rrickley, Arthur W. 
Rromley, Henry H. 
Rrown, Fenner 
Rudlong, Lorenzo D. 

RUDLONG, STILLMAN H. 

Rurlingame, Renjamin A. 
Rurt, Allen 
Rutts, Charles P. 
Carmichael, Morris 
Cassen, Charles H. 
Cassen, Joseph H. 
Clarance, John 
Cole, Joseph A. 
Collins, Stephen 



Privates. 

Collins, Welcome A. 
Cornell, Albert H. 
Cornell, Charles 
Cornell, Levi J. 
Cornell, William H. 
Cottrell, Charles 
Delevan, John 
Dennis, William 
Dickerson, William A. 
Doyle, Rernard 
Duffy, Michael 
Eaton, Martin V. R. 
Eatock, John 
England, Samuel 
Fletcher, Calvin C. 
Ford, Patrick 
Gallup, Richard H. 
Gallup, William H. 
Gardner, Henry A. 
Glynn, John 
Goff, Joseph R. 



1.861.] 



FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 



GOFF, RUFUS 

Godfrey, Edward L. 
Green, Caleb H. H. 
Hamilton, William 
Hanson, John F. 
Hart, Bartholomew 
Haskell, Solomon A. 
Healy, John 
Howard, Edward 
Horton, Anthony B. 
Hunt, Chester F, 
Hunt, Walter 
Ide, Sylvester G. 
Ingalls. George 
Jpnes, William 
Jordan, William T. 
Kelly, John 
Kendrick, John 
Kenton, William J. 
King, David B. 
Laird, Robert 
Leach, Joseph 
Macomfjer, Calvin L. 
Maine, Nelson B. 
Martin, Thomas J. 
Mason, Henry A. 
Mason, Lucius M. 
Matteson, Benj. F. 
Matteson, George R. 
Matteson, William F. 
Maxcy, William H. 
MoAllen, Arthur J. 
McCullum, William 



McGuinness, Edward 
McGunnigle, George 
McGunnigle, James 
McMeekin, Josiah 
Morris, William H. 
Mowry, John B. 
Niles, Robert A. 
Paine, Charles H. 
Perry, Nelson E. 
Phetteplace, David 
Phillips, Albert A. 
Phillips, Thomas W. 
Remington, William F., Jr., 
Reynolds, William F. 
Rhodes, John H. 
Rider, Charles J. 
Sanford, Herbert D. 
Sisson, John J. 
Slaizer, Francis 
Sprague, Charles G. 
Stenson, James 
Sweet, James A. 
Tanner, William M. 
Thayer, Ziba C. 
Thompson, James 
Trescott, John F. 
Walker, Pardon S. 
Wardlow, John E. 
Wells, William P. 
Whipple, Albert J. 
Wilkinson, Robert 
Williams, Alanson A. 
Wood, Charles W. 



WOODMANSEE, CLARK L. 



After the muster Capt. William H. Parkhurst addressed us, 
saying that he was very sorry, but he was compelled by personal 
considerations to decline the command tendered him, at the last 
moment ; therefore he was not to go with us as our commander, and 
wished us a God-speed and safe return. The boys felt sorry to hear 



8 HISTORY OF BATTEKY B, [August, 

this, for under his active supervision we had been organized, en- 
rolled and mustered, and learned to call him captain, and were quite 
disappointed in not having him for our commander. Captain Park- 
hurst was followed by others with remarks on the duties we had now 
assumed. After an address by Colonel Loomis on the duties of a 
soldier, we were dismissed, with orders to report at the armory the 
next day at ten o'clock sharp. 

August 14th. Long before the appointed time the men were in 
attendance at the armoi'y, and passed the time in discussing the dif- 
ferent reports that had been circulated about their destination. 

In the afternoon we were formed into line. In the meantime a 
guard had been placed at the entrance of the armory, with instruc- 
tions that no one should be allowed to go out. We soon learned 
what this precaution was for. At a table sat a number of State offi- 
cers, one with a small satchel, the others with books and papers, 
and as our names were called we proceeded to the table, and there 
signed our names to a paper called the "muster roll," and then 
received fifteen dollars, the promised State bounty. There were 
many smiling faces, for some of the boys had been enrolled for more 
than a month, and this was the first money they had received. 
After receiving the bounty, to each man was given a sabre and belt. 
At this time the non-commissioned officers were the recipients of 
pocket Testaments and handkerchiefs, presented by Mrs. Seth 
Adams, mother of Lieut. George W. Adams. The line was again 
formed and we marched to the Arcade on Westminster Street, 
and the men who had not received hats were furnished with them, 
like those previously described. Then we were marched to Ex- 
change Place, and there each received a pair of shoes. 

After receiving these supplies the command was marched to the 
railroad depot, where a large crowd of people were in attendance to 
see the soldier boys off. Friends bidding friends " good bye," 
mothers taking farewell partings of their sons, wives and sweet- 
hearts tenderly bidding the soldiers " God-speed." Before taking 
the cars we were drawn up in line at the west of Exchange Place, 
by the little triangular park, and briefly addressed by Governor 
Sprague, who reminded us of our obligation to the State, whose 
reputation was to some extent in our keeping. Bishop Clark fol- 
lowed by a few words of encouragement, and invoked the blessing 
of the Divine Ruler of the Universe upon us as we went to our 
work to battle for the Union. 



1861.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 9 

The battery boys, under the command of First. Lieut. Raymond 
H. Perry, at seven o'clock p. m., boarded the Stonington Steam- 
boat train, and left Providence, R. I., for New York city. There 
were twenty-three recruits for the Second Rhode Island Battery, un- 
der Captain Reynolds, who went with our party. Colonel Sanford, 
of the governor's staff, accompanied us to New York city, to super- 
intend the transportation. The whole was under the command of 
Maj. Charles H. Tompkins. 

We arrived at the Stonington steamboat landing about nine p. m., 
and embarked on the steamer Commonwealth, and left for New 
York city about ten p. M. We were furnished with supper on the 
boat, and it was three long years before some of us enjoyed another 
equal to it. We arrived in New York city at early dawn on the 
morning of August loth. Our voyage through Long Island Sound 
was most pleasant, for the night was clear and starlight, and only 
light breezes blowing. We remained on the wharf, waiting orders. 
Here we received a haversack for rations, a canteen for water ; also 
rations of hard-bread and boiled ham were issued. And such ham ! 
Well, it was August, hot, muggy weather. That is enough to ex- 
plain it. As I write it seems as if I can smell it now. 

About one o'clock in the afternoon we embarked on a ferry-boat 
and steamed down the river toward New Jersey and landed at South 
Amboy, where we disembarked, and boarded the cars in waiting. 
Here the first accident happened. Fenner A. Brown was jammed 
between the cars as the engine was being attached to the train. He 
was sent to a hospital and left for medical treatment. His injury did 
not prove to be serious, for he was soon able to rejoin the battery. 

About three o'clock p. m. we left South Amboy for Camden, 
passing through the following pleasant towns : Spotswood, James- 
burgh, Cranbury Station, Bordentown, Kinkora, Burlington, Bev- 
erly, and arrived at Camden at about sunset. At Jamesburgh the 
train made a stop. Over the door of the restaurant at the station 
was a sign on which was inscribed, " Twenty minutes for lunch," 
and a number of the men thought that they would like some lunch, 
and went into the restaurant and ordered it. While waiting for 
it they were told that they had plenty of time, but the waiters 
being on the alert, collected the price before it was served, and 
when the coffee was served it was so hot no one could drink it, and 
as they sat patiently eating their lunch and waiting for the coffee to 
cool, the engine bell rang as a signal that the train was to move, 



10 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [AllgUSt, 

and the order "All aboard!" was shouted. Did the men hasten 
to leave their lunch? No, ^hey waited until the train began to 
move ; then they made a move, and as they had paid for their lunch 
they were not going to be cheated out of it ; so one took one thing 
and some another in their hands and boarded the train, amid shouts 
from the waiters and orders from the proprietor to leave Hie things 
alone. Not they. The idea, — for them to obey orders from a civil- 
ian ! Though not disciplined as yet, we had been instructed to obey 
orders only from our superior officers, for we were now soldiers and 
not civilians. And fortunately the officers knew naught of that 
which transpired. On the train the boys took account of stock, and 
found cold fowl, ham, corned beef, pie, cake, bread and pickles. 
Enough for quite a lunch, which the boys enjoyed eating, at the 
same time viewing the beautiful scenery and villages as we passed 
along the route. 

About seven p. M. we arrived at Philadelphia, and when the train 
stopped we were ordered by Lieutenant Perry to leave the cars and 
fall into line. As soon as this was done, we marched to the 
"Soldiers' Retreat." This place was called by different names, 
such as " Cooper Union," " The Cooper Shop," and "Soldiers' 
Rest." Here we partook of a good and substantial supper of cold 
meats, pickles, white and brown bread, tea and coffee, prepared by 
Mrs. Cooper and other ladies of Philadelphia, expressly for the bene- 
fit of the soldiers that stopped while on their way to and from the 
seat of war. 

Every possible attention was shown us that could add to our 
comfort while we were their guests. After supper we were again 
ordered into line, and marched to the cars on a side-track near the 
depot, followed by an enthusiastic crowd of women, young ladies, and 
children, all anxious to shake hands with the soldier boys and de- 
fenders of the Union. We boarded the cars and started for Balti- 
more about nine p. m., the ladies waving their handkerchief's, bidding 
us a " good bye," and invited us to call again when passing that 
way. 

Soon after we had taken the cars, a detail was made, and a guard 
was stationed at the doors, with orders that no one was to be allowed 
to leave the car without permission from the officer of the guard. 
This was done to avoid accidents, as the night was quite dark and 
the cars swayed from side to side, and one was not sure of his foot- 
ing if he tried to pass from car to car. We all unbuckled our belts 



1861.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 11 

and hung our accoutrements up out of the way and prepared for a 
rest and sleep, if possible. The cars ran very slow at first ; then ran 
at a very fast speed at times. No stop was made until Wilmington 
was reached, and then only long enough to change engines, and then 
went on again. When within a few miles of Baltimore we were all 
aroused, and ordered to buckle on our side-arms and be in readiness 
to leave the cars at a moment's notice. The fate of the Sixth Mas- 
sachusetts Regiment and their reception were fresh in our minds. 
There was no excitement or alarm, but we obeyed the order and 
waited patiently for further developments. We arrived in Balti- 
more about midnight. There were but few citizens stirring. We 
did not leave the cars, as was expected, but were drawn for two 
miles by horses from the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore 
depot to the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad depot. At one a. m. 
started for Harper's Ferry. We reached the Relay House, made a 
short stop here, and then went on again, and our next halting place 
was Point of Rocks, Md. 

August 16th. The Second Rhode Island Battery had been or- 
dered here from Harper's Ferry on picket duty, after the fight of 
Aug. 5, 1861, at Berlin, Md. We were heartily received by the 
men of this battery, for it was supposed we had come to relieve 
them, to take their pieces, horses, and equipments, and do guard 
duty, as they were doing, and that they were to go to Washington, 
D. C, and receive a battery of new pieces, horses and equipments. 
They were in high spirits, but it was of short duration, for General 
Terry on being informed that the Third Battery were raw recruits 
and knew nothing of field drill, had the order countermanded, and the 
Third instead of the Second Battery were ordered to Washington. 
While resting at the camp of the Second Battery the men enjoyed 
an object lesson of camp life, and the duties of a soldier while on 
picket duty. The scenery around the camp and in the distance was 
picturesque, magnificent and sublime. A short distance in front of 
the camp was the Chesapeake and Ohio canal and railroad ; a few 
rods beyond was the Potomac River, with swift running water ever 
flowing onward. On the opposite side of the river was Virginia, 
where in the following years were enacted so many terrible and 
thrilling tragedies in which we were to participate. On the right in 
the distance were seen Loudoun Heights, which overlooked Harper's 
Ferry, Va. Point of Rocks is a high rocky bluff on the Maryland 
side of the river, where the guns of the Second Battery were sta- 



12 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [August, 

tioned, and commanded the Virginia side of the river for quite a dis- 
tance. While we were waiting here we received a knapsack and 
one woolen blanket each. We were ordered into line and marched 
to the cars which were in waiting, boarded the train and started for 
Washington, D. C, about six p. M. We arrived there the next 
morning, August 7th, about sunrise. On leaving the cars in the Bal- 
timore and Ohio Railroad depot, we were again ordered into line by 
Lieutenant Perry and marched to Camp Sprague, and took posses- 
sion of the old quarters of the First Rhode Island Battery (three 
months men). We were accompanied from Point of Rocks to the 
camp by Capt. William B. Weeden, promoted from second lieuten- 
ant of the Second Battery. At the time it was reported he was 
to be captain of our battery. But he only stayed with us for a week, 
then left for Providence, R. I., to take command of another battery, 
which was formed from men who had offered their services since we 
had left. 

During the process of organizing the Army of the Potomac the 
commander-in-chief was reported to have said, " This is to be 
largely an artillery war," and it is understood that he gave more 
than ordinary attention to increasing this arm of defense. With 
what rapidity the increase progressed, few, perhaps, have an ade- 
quate idea, and it may awaken surprise, as well as indicate the 
strength of this department, to know that since the first battle of Bull 
Run the light artillery in the several armies was increased from a 
few batteries to upwards of two thousand guns. In this mass of 
power Rhode Island was nobly represented. 

On the 1st of August, 1861, Hon. Simon Cameron, the then sec- 
retary of war, authorized Governor Sprague to raise and equip a 
battalion of artillery, to consist of three batteries, one of which, the 
Second Rhode Island Battery (Capt. William H. Reynolds), was 
then in the field. The Third, Lieut. Raymond H. Perry command- 
ing, the Fourth, Capt. William B. Weeden commanding, were soon 
organized and mustered into the service under this order, and left 
for Washington, D. C. This battalion was under the command of 
Maj. Charles H. Tompkins. 

Volunteering for the artillery being so brisk, Governor Sprague 
asked for and obtained an order to raise and equip two additional 
batteries to be added to the battalion, and all designated by letter in- 
stead of numerals, thus the second battery was called A, the third, 
B, the fourth, C, and the two additional batteries, D, Capt. J. A. 



1861.] 



FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 



13 



Monroe, and E, Capt. George E. Randolph. They were rapidly or- 
ganized. The headquarters of this battalion was established at 
Camp Sprague, Washington, D. C, to which place the batteries 
were sent as soon as they were mustered into service. 

Again, on the 13th of September, 1861, authority was granted 
Governor Sprague by the war department to raise three more batter- 
ies, making eight in all, to constitute a regiment, to be known and 
called the First Regiment Rhode Island Light Artillery. Maj. C. 
H. Tompkins was appointed colonel ; Capt. William H. Reynolds 
of Battery A promoted to lieutenant-colonel ; the former at Camp 
Sprague in disciplining and drilling the batteries, while the latter 
was in Rhode Island superintending the organization, and forward- 
ing the other batteries to Washington as soon as their numbers were 
full. While Colonel Tompkins was with the batteries in the Army 
of the Potomac, Lieutenant-Colonel Reynolds had a like important 
agency at Hilton Head, S. C, the duties of which he successfully 
and satisfactorily performed. 




Private James Tillinghast. 



14 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [August, 



CHAPTER III. 



CAMP SPRAGUE AND DISCIPLINE. 

CAMP SPRAGUE was partly located in a beautiful grove 
near the Eckington Hospital, on the Gales farm, about two 
miles from the Capitol. The formation of the camp was 
planned and laid out by private Henry A. DeWitt, of Company C. 
(He was promoted to second lieutenant of engineers May 31, 
1861.) The building of the barracks was superintended by First 
Lieut. William R. Walker, of Company E, of the First Regi- 
ment Rhode Island Detached Militia, by which troops it was first 
occupied. The buildings for the men were built of rough joists and 
boards in regular form, each company in line, and facing a street. 
At the head of the line was a separate hut with a porch attached 
overlooking the camp, this being the quarters of the company 
officers. 

At the north of the grove, and in front of the camp, was a large 
level space used for company and regimental drills and parades. 
South of this parade ground and joining the infantry camp on the 
east, were the artillery barracks which previously had been occupied 
by the First Rhode Island Battery (three months men). The bar- 
racks for the men extended from the grove to the east in one line, all 
built together. At the head of the line was a separate barracks for 
the line sergeants, first sergeant, and quartermaster. In front of 
these were the officers' quarters. The first thing in order after 
taking possession was the cleaning of quarters and ground about the 
camp. It was a very busy time. Our supplies began to arrive, and 
woolen blankets, tin plate and a pint tin cup were issued to each. 
At noon the men were ordered into line by First Sergt. Jacob B. 
Lewis, marched to the cook-house of the infantry camp, and each 
man received a loaf of soft bread, a hunk of boiled salt beef, and a 
pint of coffee, after which we returned to our barracks, and there 



1861.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 15 

finished our dinner. As our camp cooking utensils had not been re- 
ceived our rations were cooked at the infantry cook-house by the 
cooks of Company K, Second Regiment Rhode Island Infantry. 
This company was stationed at Camp Sprague, and occupied the in- 
fantry quarters for the purpose of doing camp guard duty. The 
batterymen found it very pleasant to have friends so near, and many 
a social chat was enjoyed. In the afternoon two army wagons ar- 
rived at camp loaded with different supplies. These were taken care 
of by the quartermaster-sergeant, William S. Dyer. At four o'clock 
p. M. a bugle call was sounded by bugler Eben S. Crowninshield. 
This was followed by the well known voice of First Sergeant 
Lewis calling. " Fall in ! Fall in ! Lively now ! " meaning that 
we should form into line. When the line was formed, Lieutenants 
Perry, Bloodgood, and Adams, came and stood about six paces in 
front of the line facing it. Then Lieutenant Perry explained that 
the men were to always form into line as they now stood whenever 
the assembly call was sounded. And the bugler was then ordered 
to blow the assembly call again that it might be understood. He 
then gave orders for the non-commissioned officers to step two paces 
to the rear, then ordered the first sergeant to form the line into de- 
tachments, and six gun detachments were formed of eighteen men 
each, commencing from the right of the line. To each detachment 
was assigned one sergeant and two corporals (who are called non- 
commissioned officers). The first corporal is also called the gunner, 
and has charge of the piece and cannoneers. The other corporal 

is called No. 8, and has charge of the caisson, and also does the 
duty of the gunner in his absence. The sergeant has charge of the 
whole detachment. Two detachments or more form a section, and 
are commanded by a commissioned officer. Battery B was formed 
viz.: The first (Sergeant Lewis), and third (Sergeant Blair), 
detachments, the right section under Lieutenant Perry ; fifth (Ser- 
geant Coombs), and sixth (Sergeant Blake), detachments, the cen- 
tre section, under Lieutenant Horace S. Bloodgood ; and the fourth 
(Sergeant Tucker), and second (Sergeant Adams), detachments, 
the left section, under Lieut. George W. Adams. The blacksmiths, 
saddlers or harness makers, wheelwrights and farriers, the drivers 
of the army wagons, battery wagon, and forge, and other stable 
men, formed the seventh or artificers' detachment, in charge of Sta- 
ble Sergt. George O. Scott. 

Lieut. Francis A. Smith, was chief of caissons. After this for- 



16 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [AugUSt, 

matioti was made the men were dismissed. At six o'clock p. M. 
assembly call was sounded, and the men went again to the infantry 
cooks for rations for supper. At nine p. M. Bugler Cokely sounded 
a call. This was new and sounded something like this : " Put out 
your lights ! Put out your lights ! Go to bed ! G-o to bed ! G-o 
t-o b-e-d ! " This was called " taps," and after it had been sounded 
all lights in the men's quarters must be put out and the camp remain 
quiet. 

Thus the first day of camp life of Battery B ended. The men 
seeking their bunks, turned in to sleep, and possibly to dream of 
friends at home. The bunks were arranged in three tiei^s around 
three sides of the barracks, their being twenty-four for each detach- 
ment. It vvas well that nature designed us to sleep with our eyes 
and mouth closed, for the dust falling from the upper bunks over the 
heads of those in the lower ones would have made it very annoying 
had it been otherwise. This falling of the dust was overcome to 
great extent by placing paper on the bottom of the bunks. 

Sunday, August 18th. Reveille at 4.45 a. m. This call is made 
to awaken the men from slumber, the men to make their morning 
toilet and be in readiness for any duty they may be called for. At 
six o'clock assembly call, when the calling of the roll was made by 
First Sergeant Lewis. This was the first regular roll call of the men 
that had been made since we left Providence, R. I., and some time 
was spent in correcting the roll, as many of the names thereon were 
spelled and written incorrectly. This done, the breakfast call was 
sounded at seven o'clock, and we went again for rations. At eight 
o'clock a detail of eighteen men (three from each detachment), one 
sergeant and one corporal was made. This was called the guard de- 
tail. The sergeant was called sergeant of the guard, and the corpo- 
ral, corporal of the guard. The men on guard were stationed at 
posts designated by numbers, as Post No. 1, and Post No. 2, and so on. 
No. 1 Post was generally at the guard house, or officers' headquarters ; 
No. 2 at the park (that is, where the guns and caissons are stationed) ; 
No. 3 at the quartermaster's supplies. The other numbers at the 
stable and different parts of the camp. The guards were posted at 
nine o'clock, only one-third of the number being on duty at one 
time. Those that are posted first are called first relief, and they are 
on post for two hours ; then they are relieved by the second relief of 
a like number of men, and these remain on post for two hours ; they 
in turn are relieved by the third relief, who also remain two hours, 



1861.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 17 

when they are relieved by the men that were first posted, or first re- 
lief. This is designated as " two hours on and four hours off post." 
The whole guard is generally on duty for twenty-four hours. Also 
at nine o'clock the men not on duty were assembled by detachments 
in front of their quarters and drilled in foot movements by the chief 
of sections (the lieutenants) for one hour, then dismissed. At 
noon dinner call was sounded, and we partook of our rations. 
In the afternoon a supply of camp utensils arrived, and to each de- 
tachment a set of cooking utensils were issued. These consisted of 
a sheet-iron round stove, several mess pans, and kettles of sheet- 
iron ; also a large round sheet-iron frying-pan as large over as the 
top of the stove. The next thing in order was men to do the cook- 
ing. In some of the detachments one volunteered as cook ; in others 
it was done by detailing a man for cook for one day. By this 
arrangement all kinds of cooking were enjoyed. If not enjoyed they 
were endured, until finally each detachment had one of their num- 
ber permanently detailed as cook, and cooking went along smoothly 
for a time. At five p. M. retreat roll call was sounded. Thus es- 
tablishing two roll calls a day, one in the morning, the other late in 
the afternoon. The second day in camp was a very busy one, and 
there was so much to occupy our minds that we hardly realized that 
it was the Sabbath, the day for rest, prayer, .and praise, to be offered 
up to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe. The soldier soon learns 
that there is no Sabbath day in the army. One day is the same as 
another. 

August 19th. At reveille there was a smart shower, and it rained 
by spells during most of the morning. At six a. m. the first un- 
cooked rations were issued to the cooks to be prepared for the men. 
A man was detailed as assistant to the cook, to get water, cut wood, 
etc. At seven o'clock breakfast call was sounded, and the men par- 
took of a breakfast prepared by one of their own number, which 
consisted of fried steak, fried apples and peaches, soft bread (made 
of flour, so called to distinguish it from hard-tack), and hot coffee. 
An army ration per man is three-quarters of a pound of salt pork or 
bacon or salt beef, one and one-quarter pounds of fresh beef, eighteen 
ounces of soft bread, or twelve ounces of hard bread, or one and one- 
quarter pounds of flour. At the rate of one hundred rations is is- 
sued eight quarts of beans or peas, ten pounds, of rice, six pounds 
of coffee, twelve pounds of sugar, two quarts of ground salt, four 
pounds of soap, one and one-quarter pounds of adamantine candles, 



18 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [AllgllSt, 

and at times potatoes, on ions, and pressed vegetables. Soldiers can- 
not eat all the rations if issued to them, and for many reasons do 
not get their full allowance. At eight a. m. police call was sounded, 
and that indicated that the quarters and grounds around the barracks 
are to be cleaned, all litter to be swept up and carried away from the 
barracks. This work is generally performed by men as a punish- 
ment for some breach of discipline. At this time there were no vic- 
tims, and a detail, one from each detachment, did the work. Nine 
A. M. guard mounting, after which we had drill call, and the men 
were drilled at the manual of the piece for the first time since we 
were mustered into service. On our arrival at Camp Sprague we 
found six new General James's rifled brass guns (twelve-pounders) 
and limbers. These were parked in front of the artillery barracks 
and taken possession of by Battery B, and made use of during drill 
hours. 

August 20th. Reveille at sunrise. The officers having so well 
instructed the men as to their duties, and all having got into work- 
ing order, we settled down into army life in earnest, performing the 
camp duties as regular as clock-work. At the post below the stable, 
vesterday afternoon, there was an incident which caused much merri- 
ment among the men at the time, but not to the participants. It was 
just at dusk, one of our men who had been out of camp, was trying 
to get in without being seen, as he had not the countersign (pass- 
word). The guards (there were two) saw him skulking around, 
challenged him, and commanded him to halt. This he did not do, 
but started on a run. The guards being armed only with sabres, 
could only enforce obedience to their demands at close quarters. 
So the guards put after, and chased him quite a distance from the 
camp, leaving the post unguarded, and any one might have entered 
unobserved, or gone out if they had been in that vicinity. The 
guards succeeded in capturing their man, returned to camp and 
marched him to the guard-house — still leaving the post unguarded — 
feeling very elated over their success, and boasting that they were 
not to be trifled with. But what was their dismay and feelings 
when told to give up their arms (the sabres), as they were arrested 
for deserting their post while on duty. They were kept in the 
guard-house all night. Just before guard-mounting to-day the 
men were assembled in line, and the culprits brought out in 
front and reprimanded for breach of duty. Again Captain Weeden 
explained the duties of guards while on post, and hoped the mis- 



1861.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 19 

demeanor would not occur again. The men were released from 
arrest and were the first victims for police duty. It was a long 
time before the men heard the last of it, and it was a lesson that 
was always remembered. In the afternoon, while drilling, heavy 
musketry was heard in the direction of Harper's Ferry, said to be 
skirmishing of some of our troops with the rebels in that vicinity. 

August 21st. The day passed pleasantly with the regular camp 
duties and manual drill. At retreat roll-call the officer of the day 
read several orders to us, some of which were explained. Among 
the general orders was one in regard to profanity, which was pro- 
hibited, and for an offence a fine was to be levied. A private was 
to be fined fifty cents, an officer one dollar, for each and every 
offence. Now, while the officer was reading this order, a band 
which had just arrived at the infantry camp commenced to play 
a lively air, with heavy bass drum accompaniment, which drowned 
the officer's voice so that he could not be heard, and he was 
obliged to stop reading. Then came a lull in the music and he 
commenced reading again, and had proceeded as far as where the 
officers were to be fined one dollar, when the band struck up and let 
out in full blast, bass drum leading. A flash passed over the officer's 
face and he exclaimed, "D — that band to h — !" Then in the 
next breath said, "Orderly, charge me one dollar." I do not know 
whether that fine was ever paid, nor do I remember that a fine was 
ever levied on the men of Battery B for swearing. 

August 22d. The Twenty-third Pennsylvania Regiment arrived 
and went into camp in the infantry quarters. They came here for 
guard duty and drill. Company K, of the Second Rhode Island 
Regiment, has been relieved and have gone to join their regiment 
at Camp Brightwood, just beyond the Soldiers' Home (of the 
Regulars) . 

August 23d. Captain Weeden, who had been in command and 
supervised the details of the battery since we have been in Wash- 
ington, left us and went home to Rhode Island to take command 
of Battery C. First Lieut. Raymond H. Perry then assumed com- 
mand of our battery. A detail of men under Lieutenant Adams 
and the quartermaster-sergeant went down to the city and returned 
with horses for the battery . 

August 24th. Soon after reveille the assembly was sounded and 
the line formed ; then volunteers were asked for to groom and 
care for the battery horses. All who desired to perform this service 



20 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [August, 

were told to step three paces to the front. The men that were 
accustomed to care for horses did so. There not being enough of 
volunteers, the rest were detailed, and were known as drivers, the 
others as cannoneers. 

Sunday, August 25th. Ouly regular camp duty performed to- 
day. Capt. Thomas F. Vaughn came and took command of the 
battery. He was promoted from first lieutenant of Battery A, 
First Rhode Island Light Artillery. At retreat roll-call Lieutenant 
Adams introduced Captain Vaughn as our new commander. After 
a few remarks by both the captain and Lieutenant Adams, the men 
were dismissed. 

With Captain Vaughn came our first recruits, three in number, 
viz. : Sergeant-Major Ernest Staples, to act as first sergeant, which 
duty had been performed by Sergeant Lewis ; George A. Franklin, 
who takes care of the captain's horse ; Hezekiah Jenks, an orderly 
for Major Tompkins. 

August 26th. To-day the quartermaster-sergeant brought har- 
nesses for the battery horses, and the drivers, with the assistance 
of the harness makers, Peckham and Taylor, were kept quite busy 
for some time in putting them together. The pieces were separate 
and packed in different boxes. To most of the drivers it was a 
puzzle to put a harness in complete working order. 

August 27th. To-day the horses were harnessed and attached to 
the pieces and caissons, and a few movements were made with fair 
success. For better advantage in working together some changes 
were made in the different places the horses were to work, as lead, 
swing, and pole. Some horses are better adapted for leaders than 
others, and to that position they were changed. 

August 28th was a very pleasant day. The battery was hitched 
up and had its first field drill as a battery. The plateau between the 
barracks and Eckingtou Hospital was well adapted for that purpose, 
being a level and extensive field, which the batteries made use of 
while quartered at Camp Sprague. Our drill was an improvement 
on that of yesterday, and, after two hours in executing different 
movements, the battery was parked and the horses stabled. 
From this time forth while we remained at Camp Sprague the battery 
was drilled at the manual of the piece in the forenoon, and mounted 
battery drill in the afternoon ; in which the men and horses became 
quite proficient. 

It requires considerable time to supply artillery with trained 




Capt. Thomas F. Vaughn. 



1861.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 21 

horses. The horse is a curious, shy, inquisitive animal, and when 
taken from the stable or pasture for the strategic purpose of war, 
demands to be handled with great care and patience. He must be 
gradually accustomed to the sudden and marked changes in his 
status, — the gleam of arms, the roll of drums, the flaunting of ban- 
ners, the flash, the smoke, and the roar of the cannons, and mus- 
ketry. It is remarkable, however, that when the practical war 
horse is thus drilled and disciplined, his proficiency in wheeling with 
gun or caisson at the critical moment of limbering up or unlimbering 
light field artillery is wonderful. At the bugle call, without a word, 
sign or touch from the driver, he wheels, advances and retreats with 
marvelous rapidity ; at times compelling riders and cannoneers to 
spring to keep their saddles or escape his lightning-like evolutions. 

August 3 1st. In the afternoon while the battery was out on field 
drill, a large fire was seen in the direction of Arlington Heights, 
Va. Later we learned it was the burning of the quarters and sta- 
bles of some troops stationed there. No one was injured, but the 
damage to the men in loss of clothing and quarters was great. 

After the battery had returned from drill the men were mustered 
for the month of August, 1861. By this is meant that the pay rolls 
(of which there are three, one for the company, one for the paymas- 
ter and one for the war department), had been made out, and cer- 
tified to by the commanding officer with his signature. Battery B 
was mustered for nineteen days, from the 13th to the 31st inclusive. 

Camp life so far with the men has been pleasant. We have en- 
joyed the privileges of passes to the city of Washington, the capital 
of the nation. Visited all the different places of interest and amuse- 
ment, and have written to our friends at home of the sights and dif- 
ferent places which we had visited. It seemed as if we were enjoying 
a visit ourselves, instead of being subjects of military authority. 

Sunday, September 1st. First mounted inspection. The quar- 
ters, clothing and appearance of the men, horses, stable, pieces and 
caissons and all equipments were examined, after which the battery 
was complimented by the officers on its fine appearance, and were dis- 
missed. A number of passes were given to the men to visit the 
city, and some went without them. In the evening several of the 
soldiers were taken with violent spasms and frothed at the mouth and 
nostrils, so that the men became alarmed and thought their com- 
rades had been poisoned. There was no surgeon at the camp, so 
they were given hot water as soon as they revived sufficiently to take 



22 history of battery b, [September, 

it. This made them vomit, and they soon recovered from their 
spasms. But it left them very weak and sick. While the men were 
in these spasms it would take three and four men to hold them to 
keep them from injuring themselves, and at times they had as much 
as they could do. On the arrival of the surgeon, who had been sent 
for from the hospital, he said their comrades had done the best 
thing possible in giving the sufferers hot water to drink, and that 
they were all out of danger except one man, who had another attack 
while the surgeon was there. He did not recover from it as well as 
the others, for he had several attacks and was very sick and under 
the surgeon's care for some time, and was finally discharged. From 
the men it was learned that they had drank beer which they had pur- 
chased of the sutler (a Dutchman), who had a shanty at the lower 
end of the camp, and as the weather was very warm they had drank 
several times there during the afternoon. The surgeon thought that 
there must have been some drug put into the beer which made them 
sick. This made the men provoked with the sutler, and they threat- 
ened to break into and clean out his shanty. But before they had 
succeeded in accomplishing their object they were ordered to their 
quarters. On being informed that the sutler was not in camp that 
night and that a guard would be placed at his shanty and he would 
be arrested in the morning when he arrived, had the effect of quiet- 
ing the men. 

September 2d. Early in the morning the Dutchman was seen 
approaching his shanty, and as it was quiet around and about the 
camp he went to the shanty. As he was about to enter the guard 
arrested him, and a more surprised Dutchman was never seen. He 
condemned himself at once by saying : " Why for I be arrested? 
I do nothing. The beer was good ; that was all right. I did 
nothing to it ! " This he kept saying as he was taken to the offi- 
cers' quarters. He was ordered to the guard-house, and finally sent 
to the city under guard. He was found probably guilty of drugging 
Ihe beer, fined, and ordered to leave the city. 

The day being very pleasant the battery was ordered out on field 
drill in the forenoon, and while drilling were reviewed and inspected 
by Gen. George B. McClellan and staff, who had rode into camp 
as we were going out to drill. 

September 7th. After the morning drill the battery was ordered 
to hitch up, and left camp and went down to the Arsenal for ammu- 
nition and other supplies. Left the pieces to have the vents fitted 



1861.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 23 

for primers, and returned to camp with caissons. While at the 
Arsenal a little incident happened which shows to what danger 
many were exposed through the ignorance of some one. Not the 
enlisted man, for he only obeys orders without question. Corporal 
Libbey, Avith several others, were detailed to fill a lot of shell with 
powder. In the ammunition room, which was quite a large room 
on the first floor, were several large boxes near the main or delivery 
door, holding between two and three bushels. These were nearly 
full of fine and loose powder scattered on the floor around the 
boxes. The shells were filled with the powder from these boxes, 
and, when completed, were taken out by the men to the ammunition 
chests and packed therein. At the time probably no thought was 
given to the risk that was run, but since then I have heard men- 
tioned the danger we were exposed to by treading on the loose 
powder, and the liability of gravel being tracked in as we passed in 
and out, and the iron nails in the heels of our shoes, a spark from 
one of which would have ignited the powder, and there would 
have been a tremendous explosion which might have blown us all 
across the Potomac. To-day Charles Cottrell was discharged and 
sent home for disability, said to be caused by the drugged beer. 

Sunday, September 8th. Captain Vaughn received official notice 
that Battery B has been assigned to General Stone's command, 
which was doing guard duty on the upper Potomac River. 

September 10th. Governor Sprague, of Rhode Island, and Gen- 
eral Burnside visited camp to-day. They were received with three 
hearty cheers from the men, who were greatly pleased to receive a 
visit from such distinguished personages as the war governor of 
Rhode Island and a hero of Bull Run. The governor and general 
expressed their thanks for the hearty reception received. 

September 11th. Lieutenant Adams, with drivers, went to the 
Arsenal and returned to camp with the pieces. 

September 12th. The government paymaster visited the camp 
to-day. The assembly call was sounded, the line formed by the 
first sergeant, the men marched to the captain's quarters, and, as 
their names were called, commencing with the non-commissioned 
officers first, they signed the pay-roll, the privates receiving $8.23 
for nineteen days' service in the month of August. This was the 
first money we had received from the United States government, 
and paid in gold and silver. 

In the afternoon Captain Vaughn received marching orders, 



24 historic of battkry b, [September, 

which was communicated to the men at retreat roll-call, by being 
ordered to pack up and be in readiness to move at a moment's no- 
tice. It was with regret that most of us heard this order — a move 
which meant to break up housekeeping just as we had become used 
to the surroundings and camp-life at the capital city of the Union. 
While on the march or in other camps, the memory of Camp 
Sprague will always be coupled with pleasant thoughts of the places 
of interest we visited while here encamped and first taught the du- 
ties of a soldier. 

Among the buildings visited were the Capitol, not then finished, 
the White House, Patent Office, and Office of Interior, State, War, 
and Navy Departments, Treasury Department, AVashington Monu- 
ment ; the Mall, with the Smithsonian Institute, the Arsenal, the 
Navy Yard, not forgetting a visit to the Island. 

The Soldiers' Home for the Regulars was not generally visited by 
the volunteer soldier. It was located about three miles due north 
from the Capitol. The original purchase of land was 256 acres. 
The principal building for inmates is of white marble. It was com- 
menced in 1852 and completed in 1891. It is of Norman gothic 
design, 251 J feet long by 158£ feet wide. The south part of the 
main building (the front) is named after Gen. Winfield Scott, the 
founder of the Home, and has a large clock tower. The north 
addition is named after Gen. W. T. Sherman. The old homestead 
building near to and west of the Scott building is named after 
Gen. Robert Anderson, of Fort Sumter renown, to commemorate 
the fact of his early advocacy of and great interest in the establish- 
ing of the Home, in which the first inmates were, quartered. But 
since the renovating and repairing of the homestead in 1856, it has 
frequently been used as the summer residence of the presidents. 
President Buchanan, being the first to make use of it, occupied it 
in 1856-60. A visit to the above place well paid those who spent 
a few hours viewing and inspecting the buildings and grounds. 

One other place out of the city was much visited, and that was 
Arlington, the residence of Gen. Robert E. Lee. The Arlington 
estate was originally part of the vast landed possessions of Edmond 
Scarburgh in the early colonial period, and consisted of 1,160 acres. 
Later it came into the possession of John Custis, a wealthy planter, 
whose only son, Daniel Parke Custis, married k ' the beauty and 
belle of Williamsburg, Va.," Martha Dandridge, and inherited the 
estate. After a few years of happy married life, Martha was left a 



1861.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 25 

widow with two children, and in 1759 was wedded to George 
Washington. She held the Arlington estate for her son, hut 
eventually her grandson George Washington Parke Custis became 
the owner of it. He erected the fine mansion now standing on the 
eastern portion of the grounds. It consists of a large centre building 
with two wings, the whole having a frontage of 140 feet. It is con- 
structed of brick covered with stucco, resembling freestone. There 
is a central portico, the pediment of which is supported by eight 
ponderous columns. The mansion was occupied by him until his 
death, in 1857. Arlington then passed to his daughter, Mrs. Lee 
(the wife of Gen. Robert E. Lee), for life, and afterwards was to 
descend to her son, George Washington Custis Lee. The Lee 
family lived on the estate until the beginning of the Rebellion, leaving 
it forever in April, 1861, when General Lee removed to Rich- 
mond, Va. 

The United States government took possession of the estate soon 
after the war began, and under the tax act of 1862 a sale was 
ordered, President Lincoln directing that the estate should be bid in 
for the use of the government, which was accordingly done. It was 
then decided to take a part of the land for a military cemetery, and 
some two hundred acres or more on the heights were enclosed and is 
now called, " The National Military Cemetery," at Arlington. It 
is a vast field of the nation's dead. The first interment was made 
in May, 1864. Here under the shade of noble oaks, are buried 
16,264 soldiers of the Rebellion, their last resting place graciously 
cared for by the government they died to defend. 

The mansion house is occupied by the superintendent of the 
cemetery, and the lower story can be inspected by visitors. The 
Arlington estate was subsequently claimed by George W. C. Lee. 
He brought a suit of ejectment against the United States in the 
Supreme Court, and judgment was given in his favor. He then 
offered the estate to the government for the sum of $150,000, which 
offer was accepted by Congress, and Arlington is now in undisputed 
possession of the nation. 

Among other pleasant memories of Camp Sprague is that of an 
old lady who used to bring milk, pies, and cakes, and other knick- 
nacks, which she offered for sale at a reasonable price. She took 
quite a liking to the boys of the battery, and if any of us were sick 
she used to bring medicine (home made), and with a motherly way 
administer to our wants ; and, if without funds and the wherewithal 



26 



HISTORY OF BATTERY B, 



[September, 



to purchase her dainties, she trusted us for them, knowing not 
whether she would be paid for her kindness. But I am pleased to 
say, the next day after the battery was paid off, on her visit to camp, 
she was paid in full. It was a precedent not generally followed to- 
wards peddlers. 




Private Caleb H. H. Greene, 



1861.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 27 



CHAPTER IV. 



TO POOLESVILLE, MD., AND BATTLE OF BALL'S 

BLUFF. 

SEPTEMBER 13th. Reveille at four a. m. During the morn- 
ing the men were quite busy preparing for the march to the 
upper Potomac. Breakfast at seven o'clock, after which the 
cooks packed all of the cooking utensils (except the sheet-iron stove) 
and they were put into the army wagon to be taken with us. 

Half past seven o'clock, " boots and saddles " call sounded ; the 
horses were soon harnessed, the battery hitched up, and all in readi- 
ness to move. At eight o'clock a. m. the officers took their respect- 
ive stations with their detachments, and then Captain Vaughn gave 
the following orders : " At-ten-tion drivers ! Mount ! First piece 
into line ! Forward, march ! " 

Battery B then left Camp Sprague for pastures new, knowing not 
whether we would return again. We passed through the parade 
ground, by Eckington Hospital, out into the main road, turning to 
the left, moved toward Washington. Passed through the city by 
New York and Pennsylvania Avenues, passing over Rock Creek by 
the Aqueduct Bridge into Georgetown. Taking the 'Penally town 
road we passed a number of fortifications in which infantry and 
heavy artillery regiments were stationed. Slowly continuing our 
march we passed through Tenallytown and Rockville to small vil- 
lages which had greatly increased in population under the squatter's 
act. A short distance beyond Rockville the battery halted in the 
road, where we remained for nearly an hour, when Ave were again 
summoned to march, and the battery was finally ordered into a field, 
the pieces and caissons parked, and orders given to encamp for the 
night. For the first time the men slept in their blankets on the 
ground. 

September 14th. Reveille at sunrise. At eight o'clock a. m. the 
battery left Rockville continuing the march, passing through Darnes- 



28 history of battery u, [September, 

town (a small post town of half a dozen houses) , and halted at the 
camp of Battery A, First Regiment Rhode Island Light Artillery. 
The men were well pleased with the opportunity for a chat with old 
friends. Continuing our march we did not stop again until we ar- 
rived at Poolesville, Md. Passing through part of the village, we 
turned to the left, marching about half a mile, and halted on a level 
tract of land, which was called Poolesville Plains (at least we called 
it by that name), to the southwest of the village. This was our 
destination, Poolesville, a small post town, about twenty-five miles 
northwest from Washington, D. C. The village comprised about 
twenty-five or thirty houses, with a hotel and a number of stores, 
and two blacksmith shops. It had the appearance of a thrifty little 
place. 

Here Gen. Charles P. Stone, commanding the division to which 
we had been assigned, had his headquarters. The battery was ac- 
companied on the march to this place by the Nineteenth and Twen- 
tieth Massachusetts, and other regiments, under command of Col- 
onel (afterwards General) Gorman. Immediately on our arrival 
the men were given orders to form camp. The pieces and caissons 
were parked, horses unhitched, unharnessed, and hitched to the 
picket rope, which had been stretched by the cannoneers to the trees 
at the west of the camp. Three A tents were issued to eacli detach- 
ment, the six drivers occupying one, the cannoneers the other two. 
These were pitched in one line, east and west, about fifteen yards to 
the rear of the park. At the rear of the right of the line were the 
sergeants' tents. About ten yards from and at right angles with the 
line at the east were the officers' tents. In .the square, in rear of 
officers' and privates' tents were the cooking quarters. In rear of 
the left of the line were parked the battery wagon and forge, beside 
which were the artificers' tents, and a tent for the quartermaster- 
sergeant. We had arrived on the plain about two o'clock p. m., 
by night the camp was completed, and at taps the men were 
tired enough to turn in, roll up in their blankets, and resign them- 
selves to sleep, rather than explore the new country in which they 
found themselves. 

Sunday, September loth. The battery from this time forth on 
all occasions, weather permitting, established a regular routine of 
camp duties, as reveille at sunrise, roll-call at six o'clock p. m., fol- 
lowed by police call for the cannoneers, and stable call for the drivers. 
At seven o'clock, breakfast call; eight o'clock, sick call; nine 



1861.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 29 

o'clock, guard call, followed by drivers' water call (at which time 
the horses were taken to water). On their return, "boots and 
saddles," and drill call. The battery was then drilled for two hours. 
Then the battery was parked, horses unhitched, unharnessed, and 
stabled, after which followed feed call, when the horses were 
fed. At noon, dinner call. Rest until two o'clock p. m. ; then 
drill call and " boots and saddles," which meant mounted drill 
for one and a half hours, after which the battery was parked 
and horses stabled. Four o'clock, stable call again, and, at five 
o'clock, retreat roll-call, followed by supper call ; and at nine p. m., 
taps. On Sunday about nine o'clock a. m., instead of drill there 
was inspection of quarters and clothing, and once a month or when 
ordered, mounted inspections, at which time all battery and camp 
equipage was inspected. By the above it will be seen that in pleas- 
ant weather our time was pretty well occupied. 

The Fifteenth Massachusetts Regiment was encamped directly 
south of our camp, and to the west of them was established a camp 
of engineers and a signal station, from which the men signaled to 
Sugar Loaf Mountain, and from there to Rockviile, thence to 
Washington. During the war the code of signals by flags was 
brought to a remarkable state of perfection, and during different 
campaigns was of immense service. In many instances the firing 
of artillery was directed by signal officers stationed where they could 
overlook the fight and observe with a field-glass the effect of our 
gunnery. By their aid the commanding general was made season- 
ably acquainted with the movements of the enemy in time of battle, 
extending over a field of several miles. The signal service is dan- 
gerous, and men of nerve, coolness, and bravery, only are suited 
to it. 

September 16th. Sergt. John McCoombs was sent to the hospital 
of the Fifteenth Massachusetts Regiment, as we had none at our 
camp. He was taken sick on the march from Rockviile. Corp. 
Charles A. Libbey was appointed acting sergeant in charge of the 
third piece, fifth detachment. 

September 18th. As the battery was getting ready for mounted 
drill, Captain Vaughn received orders to have the battery in light 
marching trim at a moment's notice. The battery was soon in 
readiness, the men with haversack, canteens, and blankets. About 
9.30 a. M. the battery left camp and moved in the direction of the 
Potomac, to the southwest. We marched to Edwards' Ferry, about 



30 history of battery b, [September, 

four miles from Poolesville, and then was sent down the river about 
a mile, Captain Vaughn placing the battery in position on a hill 
overlooking the Potomac River and commanding the Virginia shore 
for some distance. General Stone and staff then appeared, and the 
general rode up to Captain Vaughn, directing two guns to be placed 
near the woods at our right and front. Captain Vaughn ordered the 
centre section to the place designated. To reach that position the 
section was obliged to cross a recently ploughed field, which re- 
quired considerable pulling, pushing, puffing and swearing to get 
the pieces across and into position. This was finally accomplished 
without mishap. The battery was ordered to fire shell across the 
river into an open field. For a few moments, judging by the way 
we threw shells into that field, one would have supposed that ten 
thousand rebels were there preparing to cross. But not a Johnnie 
did we see. It was subsequently learned that gatherings of men 
had been seen often at that place, and it was supposed that they 
were preparing to build a fortification ; but the day that Battery B 
sent over their compliments in the shape of shells the rebels had not 
been seen in that vicinity. 

At noon the battery (two sections) was ordered to return to camp 
at Poolesville. The right section, under Lieutenant Perry, was or- 
dered to remain on picket duty. In the afternoon tents and rations 
were sent down to them. The horses were picketed in the woods, 
the tents pitched in a hollow at the edge of the woods, in front of 
which the men built fires and made themselves as comfortable as 
circumstances would permit. 

On the 23d, a squad of men were seen on the Virginia side of the 
river, and by their actions it was thought they were signaling 
across to our side. Lieutenant Perry, taking his field-glass, went 
down the canal to make an observation, to see if he could make out 
what they were doing. While thus engaged he was shot at, but 
not hit. Returning to his command, he ordered, "Prepare for 
action ! " and several shells were sent over among them. There was 
a scattering and a run for the woods, and no more was seen of them 
for some days. The section remained here until the 24th of Sep- 
tember, when it was relieved and returned to camp at Pooleville, 
the center section, under Lieutenant Smith, taking its place. 

September 23d. The left section, under the command of Lieu- 
tenant Adams, was ordered to Monocacy, about eight miles from 
Poolesville, to guard the aqueduct of the Baltimore and Ohio Canal, 



1861.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 31 

where it crosses the Monocacy River, a village of some three or four 
houses (consisting of a store and the post-office), being a short dis- 
tance below the Aqueduct Bridge. The place was noted as a tie-up 
station for the canal boats. On a high hill southeast of the aque- 
duct the pieces were stationed, overlooking the river, and com- 
manded the Virginia shore for some distance opposite the junction 
of the Monocacy with the Potomac. In the grove back of the hill, 
in a ravine the horses were picketed. On the outer edge of the grove 
the men built huts of rails, straw, and earth, making quite com- 
fortable quarters. In front of the grove in the open field two A 
tents were pitched, one for Lieutenant Adams and the other for Ser- 
geants Adams and Tucker. This was the headquarters of the section. 

While stationed at this place the men enjoyed visits in the sur- 
rounding country, and many journeys were taken up the tow-path 
by the canal to the little red house near the lock at Licksville, and 
also the little store at the foot of Sugar Loaf Mountain. Neither 
were our stomachs forgotten, for Maryland rabbits (young pigs) 
were plenty, likewise geese and a few turkeys. The following is 
the way they were prepared : 

Boast Pig. — It is said " necessity is the mother of invention," 
and " where there is a will there is a way." These sayings were 
fully demonstrated by the soldier in the art of cooking, or at least 
the way to do cooking under disadvantages, and lack of a well- 
arranged kitchen. About the farms on which the soldiers were en- 
camped were young pigs roaming about ; and, the thought of roast 
pig on once entering the mind of a soldier, he does not get rid 
of the desire for a feast on piggy until the fact has been accom- 
plished. One day several of the men caught a pig, and, while one 
of their number was cleaning and preparing him, the others dug a 
hole in the ground, and, lining the sides and bottom with stones, 
built a fire in it. When the stones were thoroughly heated, the 
hole was cleaned of coals and ashes, and piggy was laid therein ; 
the hot stones laid around him and two large flat ones laid over the 
top of the hole to cover it, on which was thrown earth to keep in the 
heat. The pig was allowed to remain in the oven thus made all night, 
and on taking it out in the morning it was of a beautiful seal brown 
color, and as juicy as could be desired, and on which we hungry 
mortals (soldiers) satisfied our appetites. It was a royal feast, fit 
for a king. In similar manner other meats or vegetables that were 
to be roasted or baked were cooked. 



32 history of battery b, [October, 

Pork and Beans. — The manner in which the army cook prepares 
and cooks that eatable may be novel in the culinary art of to-day. 
The army cook digs a hole in the ground and builds a fire therein. 
Two crotched stakes are driven in the ground beside the hole on 
which is laid a pole. On this pole he hangs a kettle over the fire, 
in which the beans are being parboiled, so while heating the hole, 
the beans are being partly cooked. When the hole is heated 
enough, the coals and ashes are cleaned out with a shovel, and the 
kettle with the parboiled beans, on top of which is placed the pork 
(or it may be put in the middle), the kettle nearly filled with water. 
This is then placed in the hole. Then a kettle large enough to go 
over the one containing the pork and beans is placed bottom side up 
over it, forming a cover. Then the live coals are placed around the 
kettles so as to completely cover both. It is allowed to remain in 
the hole all night. In the morning it is dug out, the large kettle 
removed, and the sight that meets your eye is the familiar dish 
of the Yankee as well as the soldier. The army bean when thus 
cooked is not to be despised. It has only one rival — that of the 
now famous Boston baked beans. 

October 1st. The following privates were promoted to corporals, 
namely : Pardon S. Walker, Richard H. Gallup, Sylvester G. Ide, 
William H. Tanner, Charles B. Worthington. 

On the 11th of October the left section was relieved and returned 
to camp at Poolesville, and the right section, under Lieutenant 
Perry, took their place, and occupied the tents and huts. In the 
afternoon the battery received seven recruits from Rhode Island, who 
were assigned to the different detachments. 

Sunday, October 13th. The sentinel stationed on guard at the 
pieces reported that there was a large squad of men and horses sur- 
rounding a house and barn on the Virginia side. Lieutenant Perry 
ordered the men to their posts for duty, and after he had made ob- 
servation through his field-glass, said that there was in the woods 
back of the house a large force of the enemy's cavalry, and ordered 
the pieces to be prepared for action. This was done by running 
them up to the top of the hill by hand, for they were kept back out 
of sight of field-glasses from the enemy's view. The pieces were 
then loaded with shell, and sent over among them, which caused con- 
sternation to both men and horses as they exploded. They did not 
seem to wait for orders, but turned back and put for the woods in 
great confusion, and a number of horses with empty saddles were 



18G1.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 33 

seen going in all directions. Several more shells were sent into the 
woods as a warning that it would be dangerous to be seen at the 
house without an invitation and our permission. The place was 
kept under vigilance for some time, for it was thought and looked as 
if it was a rendezvous of the enemy for signaling across the river to 
parties at a house on our side. There were several arrests made at 
this house, and the men were sent to General Stone's headquarters. 
On the 19th Lieutenant Perry went to Washington on personal busi- 
ness, and Lieutenant Adams took command of the section in his 
absence. 

Tims, on the 20th, the battery was divided, and some distance 
apart. The right section, two pieces, Lieutenant Adams in com- 
mand, at Monocacy ; the centre section, two pieces, under command 
of Lieutenant Bloodgood, at Edward's Ferry ; the left section of two 
pieces and all the caissons, at the camp of the battery at Poolesville, 
under command of Capt. Thomas F. Vaughn. Lieutenant Perry 
was at Washington, and Lieut. Francis A. Smith sick in camp. 
Captain Vaughn received orders to prepare for light marching, and 
to be ready to move at a moment's notice. It was rumored that 
there would be an engagement soon with our troops, as the rebels 
had been seen lately in force at different times on the opposite side 
of the river. 

On October 21st Captain Vaughn was ordered to Conrad's Ferry, 
and with the left section proceeded to the river, where Colonel 
Baker's brigade was crossing to the Virginia side. As the landing 
was crowded with infantry waiting to be taken across, Captain 
Vaughn left the section in charge of Sergeant-Major Staples, and went 
down to Edward's Ferry to bring up the centre section. While the 
captain was gone the landing became partly clear of troops, and Ser- 
geant Staples moved the left section down to the landing, where 
great confusion reigned. There seemed to be no one to command or 
dispatch the troops across as they arrived. At this time Colonel 
Cogswell, of the (Tammany) Forty-second New York, arrived with 
his regiment, and, as the left section of Battery B occupied the 
landing, ordered it to cross. On learning that there was no commis- 
sioned officer of the battery with the section (Captain Vaughn not 
having returned from Edward's Ferry), he ordered Lieut. Walter 
M. Bramhall, of the Sixth New York Battery, to take command 
and cross as soon as possible so as to clear the way for his (the 
Forty-second New York) Regiment. The only means of crossing 



34 history of battery b, [October, 

the river was by a large scow attached to a hawser, which had been 
stretched from the Maryland shore to Harrison's Island in the Poto- 
mac River. Sergt. Silas G. Tucker had his gun dismounted and 
placed on board of the scow. The scow was only large enough to 
take one gun detachment and horses, so Lieutenant Bramhall and 
Sergeant Tucker with the fifth piece and men crossed to the island. 
While they were crossing, Sergt. Charles H. Adams had his gun (the 
sixth) dismounted and made ready for embarkation, and, on the re- 
turn of the scow, it was placed on board, and Sergeant Adams 
crossed to the island with his gun and detachment. As soon as the 
fifth piece was landed it was mounted and crossed the island. Here 
it was dismounted again, and the gun and carriage with the limber 
was placed in a small scow (or canal boat), and Lieutenant Bram- 
hall and men crossed to the Virginia shore. Sergeant Tucker with 
the drivers and their horses followed in another scow. The river be- 
tween the island and Virginia side was narrow, the water running 
very swift, and it was with great difficulty that the scows were pro- 
pelled to the opposite shore. On landing the gun was mounted, 
when another difficulty was encountered. They were on a miry 
clay bank under a wooded bluff about seventy feet high, with rocks 
and fallen trees, making the passage for artillery very difficult. 
After much severe labor and with the help of the infantry, Lieuten- 
ant Bramhall succeeded in reaching the summit of the bluff" with one 
gun and limber, seven horses, and fourteen men. The gun was 
placed in position in line with and to the left of the Seventy-first 
Pennsylvania, Colonel Baker's regiment (also called First Califor- 
nia), where it was assailed by a sharp fire from the enemy's skir- 
mishers and sharpshooters. They being under cover of •the trees 
and shrubs, the service of the guns was ineffectual in checking the 
enemy's fire. Lieutenant Bramhall was wounded at the first fire of 
the enemy, and soon all the artillerymen were shot down, and the 
piece was worked for a time by Colonel Baker, Colonel Cogswell, 
Captain Harvey, and others. Colonel Lee, of the Twentieth Mas- 
sachusetts, carried the last round that was fired. It was not dis- 
charged more than six or eight times. The horses were all killed, 
the piece and limber captured, and three men, Corp. William H. 
Tanner and privates Charles Cornell and William F. Matteson, 
taken prisoners by the enemy. 

A musket ball passed through the leg of Sergeant Tucker just 
above the ankle joint. Corp. Luther C. Olney was severely 







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Balls Bluff, Oct. 21, 1861. 



1861.] FIKST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT AKT1LLEKY. 35 

wounded, and died Oct. 22, 1862. John Aspinwall, Henry W. 
Bromley, Benjamin W. and George R. Matteson were also wounded. 
The wounded and others succeeded in getting across the river to the 
Island. They were then taken across to the Maryland side and sent to 
the hospital. Merritt Tillinghast, a driver, after the gun was aban- 
doned, went down the bluff to recross to the island, and, being below 
the place of crossing with the scows, he with several others plunged 
into the river to swim for the island. The current running so swift, 
and being impeded with clothing, which they had failed to divest 
themselves of, they were swept past the island into the broad river. 
Then came a struggle to battle against the mighty running water of 
the Potomac. With a bold stroke for life they swam for the Mary- 
land shore. Nearly exhausted, Tillinghast succeeded in reaching 
the shore, half a mile below the island, and the next day reached 
camp in an exhausted condition. 

The sixth piece, which was to follow the fifth piece, did not suc- 
ceed in crossing the river to the island until some thirty minutes 
after the fifth piece had landed. But as soon as it had crossed Ser- 
geant Adams directed the cannoneers to mount, and started on the 
double-quick and crossed the island to the landing. Here the piece 
was again dismounted, and preparations made to put it on board the 
scow. In the meantime the drivers had unhitched the horses and 
taken them on board the other scow and were about to push across 
to the Virginia shore, when an officer came down the bluff and 
shouted, "For God's sake send over the infantry, we want the in- 
fantry ! Can't use artillery, but send over infantry ! " This officer 
is said to have been Colonel Baker. At the request of this officer a 
company of the Forty-second New York Regiment were wait- 
ing on the bank for the return of the scows as soon as Sergeant 
Adams should cross with his piece. By their captain's orders the 
infantry were loaded on the scow that was waiting for the piece, and 
pushed for the Virginia shore. At the same time the drivers were 
ordered to disembark, and gave up the second scow to the infantry. 
In the confusion that ensued some of the drivers and horses fell into 
the river instead of landing on the island. The infantry then had 
the scows to themselves, but the two could hardly take a company at 
a time, being so small. 

Sergeant Adams had his piece mounted and took position on the 
bank of the island, about a rod from the river, overlooking the 
place of crossing. Soon after, Captain Vaughn came, and directed 



36 history of battery b, [October, 

the piece to be moved back a few rods to the house, and, taking po- 
sition in the front yard, prepared for action. When our men broke 
and made for the bluff, being hard pressed by the enemy, we did not 
fire our piece, as the nature of the ground was such that there was 
great danger of killing our own men instead of the enemy. As the 
bullets began to drop around us thick and fast, the men and horses 
were moved to the right and rear under cover of the house, where 
they remained until dark. While here some of our wounded of the 
fifth piece who had succeeded in getting to the island, were cared 
for, the saddle blankets were taken from the horses and given to 
them, and then they were sent across the river to the hospital at 
Pooiesville. Captain Vaughn with a squad of men was sent over 
under a flag of truce to bury the dead left on the field. At dusk 
preparations were made to resume hostilities again, as it was re- 
ported that the rebels had determined to detain Captain Vaughn and 
his men as prisoners. About eight o'clock p. M., however, Captain 
Vaughn returned and ordered Sergeant Adams to take his piece 
back to the landing, and at nine o'clock bivouacked for the night be- 
side two corn stacks on the bank of the river. Towards morning a 
cold, drizzling rain began to fall, which was anything but comfort- 
able for the men who were without shelter. Sergeant Adams with 
his men and piece remained on the island until the night of the 22d, 
when, under the directions of Captain Vaughn, they recrossed the 
Potomac to the Maryland shore, and joined the centre section under 
Lieutenant Bloodgood, which was in position on a high bank over- 
looking the canal and river, covering the recrossing of the infantry. 
Just before midnight Captain Vaughn ordered a parting salute to be 
fired, and four shells were thrown in the direction of Leesburg, as 
the rebels were known to be there by the light of their camp-fires re-, 
fleeting on the clouds. Captain Vaughn then ordered the section to 
limber up, and started on the return to camp at Pooiesville, followed 
by the remnant of the left section, where they arrived on the morn- 
ing of the 23d, tired and hungry. During the battle of Ball's Bluff 
the right section, which was stationed at Monocacy, were watching 
the house on the Virginia side to prevent any signaling being made to 
the Maryland side, but no one appeared in sight except an old negro. 

The following is from a private letter written by the lieutenant in 
command of the section : 

Monocacy, Oct. 23, 1861. 

I regret to say that owing to my being ordered to this place, my sec- 
tion was in the fight, but not under my command. No one can tell the 



1861.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. .">7 

agony I have suffered since then, and my orders arc still so imperative 
that I cannot leave until I am relieved, and so I have been here, while 
my men were standing the brunt of the battle. One of my pieces is 
lost, and many of my men are killed or wounded. Although I know I 
should never have got out of the battle alive, still I had much rather 
have been there than been away. It was something that I could not 
heli^, but it has been dreadful for me to be so near and still be utterly un- 
able to go to my right post. The lieutenant who had charge of my piece 
was literally riddled with bullets, but will live. As far as I can hear, 
some of my men were shot dead, and others drowned in the river. I 
had my horse saddled to go when I first beaM the tiring, but Major Par- 
ish told me it would be a gross act of military disobedience if I left my 
post here, and that it would subject me to a court-martial. So I had to 
stay. I wish Lieutenant Perry had not been in Washington, for if it 
had not been for that I should have been at the fight. Lieutenant 
Bloodgood was not in the battle. Captain Vaughn went over with ten 
men yesterday morning under a flag of truce to bury the dead. Lieu- 
tenant Bloodgood is about five miles from me and Lieutenant Perry 
about seven, with my remaining piece, and I still have his men and two 
pieces here. Everything looks as though I should have plenty to do 
here soon. 

I have just got news from my boys. 

During the battle of Ball's Bluff, on the 21st instant, Battery B, 
Rhode Island Artillery, lost as follows: 

Missing, probably prisoners — Corp. Luther C. Olney, Corp. William N. 
Tanner, Private W. F. Matteson. 

Probably drowned — Charles Cornell. 

Wounded — Sergt. Silas G. Tucker, right leg shattered. Privates B. 
W. Matteson, shot through both legs; G. R. Matteson, shot through 
side; W. C. Haskins, shot through shoulder. 

Sergeant Tucker, and indeed all the men, are spoken of as showing 
remarkable bravery. C. H. Greene, Morris Carmichael, John J. McAl- 
len, and J. A. Tillinghast were perfect tigers in the fight, and escaped 
unhurt by swimming the river. 

(signed,) GEORGE W. ADAMS. 

Captain Vaughn and the Flag of Truce. 

In the official report of Colonel Hinks, of the Nineteenth Massa- 
chusetts Regiment, which covered the retreat across Harrison's 
Island, is the following passage : 

On the morning of the 22d I dispatched Lieutenant Dodge of the 
Nineteenth Massachusetts, with a flag of truce to request of the Con- 
federate commander permission to remove our wounded, of which 
numbers lay in view, uncared for, on the Virginia shore. This request 
was denied. Permission for my surgeon to cross and treat the wounded 
was also refused, except upon condition that he should remain a pris- 
oner in their hands. Subsequently, I dispatched Captain Vaughn of the 



38 history of battery B, [October, 

Rhode Island battery, with another flag of truce, to obtain permission 
to bury the dead, which was acceded to with the stipulation that no 
movement of troops should be made from the island to the Maryland 
shore in retreat while the burying party was employed; and I dis- 
patched Captain Vaughn with a party of ten men for that purpose, 
who remained till after dark, and succeeded in burying forty-seven 
bodies, which he reported to be about two-thirds of the number lying 
upon the ground; but night coming on, he was unable to bury the re- 
mainder. 

During the afternoon factious complaint was made by the rebel com- 
mander that I had violated the stipulations under which the flag of 
truce was protected, accompanied by a threat to retain Captain Vaughn 
and his party as prisoners of war. I at once addressed a note to the 
rebel commander, denying the accusation, threw up new intrenchments, 
and made disposition of troops, with a view of renewing hostilities if 
the threat was carried into execution. Subsequently, however, Captain 
Vaughn returned with his party, and informed me that my explanation 
was deemed satisfactory by the rebel commander. 

Immediately after Captain Vaughn's return, under cover of night, I 
commenced a retreat, in pursuance of orders previously received from 
General Hamilton, and transported three pieces of artillery, with cais- 
sons and ammunition, thirty-six horses, and the eleven companies of 
infantry under my command, numbering some seven hundred men, in 
good order, to the Maryland shore, without any casualties or loss what- 
ever; and completing the retreat at twelve o'clock. I immediately 
passed my compliments to the rebel commander in the form of four 
shells from Captain Vaughn's guns, which had been placed in battery 
upon the high ground overlooking the canal and river. 

The following is Lieutenant Adams's report : 

Washington, October 28th. 
General Baery, Chief of Artillery : 

Sir: Agreeably to your instructions, I give below a correct report 
of the circumstances connected with the recent battle near Ball's Bluff, 
October 21, 18G1 : 

The left section of Battery B, Rhode Island Artillery, was ordered on 
the 20th of October to proceed to Conrad's Ferry. Captain Vaughn 
immediately started, camping at the New York Ninth Regiment's 
camp on Saturday night, and, proceeding to the Ferry the following 
morning, placed one of his pieces in readiness to cross the river. 
General Baker at that time gave Captain Vaughn orders to place the 
centre section of his battery, which was two miles and a half distant, 
in a position to shell the woods. Captain Vaughn immediately started, 
ordering Lieutenant Bramhall to see to the piece in the event of his not 
getting back in time to cross with it. Very soon after Captain Vaughn 
left the river, orders were given to transport one piece of artillery across 
the river. Lieutenant Bramhall, being at that time chief in command, 



1861.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 39 

crossed with the one best situated for immediate and most expeditious 
forwarding, which was one of Captain Vaughn's pieces. The piece 
was taken across the river, with the limber, seven horses, and fourteen 
men, including Sergeant Tucker. After dismounting the piece the men 
dragged it up a steep hill, and, returning for the carriage, brought it 
up also, mounted the piece, and commenced firing: continued to do so 
until all the cannoneers, with the exception of two, were shot down. 
Sergeant Tucker remained by the piece until his right leg was shat- 
tered by a musket ball, and then, unassisted, retired. 

Lieutenant B ram hall speaks of both the sergeant and all the men, with 
the exception of one, who retired after the third tire, as exhibiting the 
greatest bravery. He was also particular to speak of the bravery shown 
by M. Carmichael and W. F. Matteson. His report to Captain Bunting 
is full of the praises of the whole detachment. 

The loss sustained by the battery is as follows, namely: One James's 
rifled cannon, bronze, one gun carriage, one gun limber, seven horses 
with equipment, four men missing, six men wounded. 

The following is a list of those who were in the detachment which 
crossed the river: Sergt. S. G. Tucker, right leg shattered; Corp. W. F. 
Tanner, missing, probably drowned; Corp. L. C. Olney, missing, prob- 
ably drowned; privates Charles Cornell, missing, probably drowned; 
W. F. Matteson, missing, probably drowned; B. W. Matteson, shot 
through both legs; G. R. Matteson, shot through the side; W. C. Has- 
kins, shot through the chest; John Aspinwall, shot through the arm, 
above the elbow; H. W. Bromley, arm grazed by musket ball; M. Car- 
michael, A. J. McAllen, C. L. Woodmancy and M. Tillinghast escaped 
without injury. 

The wounded men will probably recover. Dr. Crosby informs me 
that he has no fears of any one wounded, but intimates that there is a 
possibility of its being necessary to amputate Sergeant Tucker's leg. 

I feel it my duty to say that had Captain Vaughn not been prevented 
by illness, caused by his arduous labors in carrying the dead and 
wounded over the river immediately after the battle, a full and authen- 
tic report would have been forwarded to you. 
Respectfully, 

GEORGE W. ADAMS, 

Lieutenant Battery B, R. I. A. 

Addenda. — General Stone visited the wounded men, praised them 
for their bra veiy, and told them that no men could have worked the 
piece better. 

G. W. ADAMS, Lieutenant. 

[Rejiort of B. B. Irwin, JAeutenant-Colonel and Assistant Adjutant- 
General of the United States Volunteers, of the Battle of BalVs Bluff, 
and the Cause and Arrest of Brig. -Gen. Charles P. Stone.] 

In the autumn of 1861, General Stone's division, Army of the Poto- 
mac, comprising the brigades of Colonels Gorman, Lander and 



40 history of battery b, [October, 

Baker (afterwards General Sedgwick's, Second Division, Second Corps, 
Army of the Potomac), was guarding the ferries or fords of the Poto- 
mac River, in front of Poolesville, Md. On the 20th of October, Gen- 
eral McCall's division being at Dranesville, Va., General McClellan 
telegraphed to General Stone, directing him to keep a good lookout on 
Leesburg, Va., to see if the operations of General McCall should have 
the effect of driving the enemy away, adding, "perhaps a slight demon- 
stration on your part would have the effect to move them.'" This slight 
demonstration resulted in the battle of Ball's Bluff. Upon receiving 
this order General Stone ordered Col. Charles Devens, with the Fif- 
teenth Massachusetts Regiment, to cross the Potomac at Harrison's 
Island to Virginia and make a reconnaissance in the direction of Lees- 
burg. We find the opening events described as follows by Colonel 
(afterwards Major-General of Volunteers) Devens: 

Just before twelve o'clock Saturday night, October 20th (by orders 
from General Stone,) I crossed the Potomac River from Harrison's 
Island to the Virginia shore with five companies, numbering about 300 
men, of my regiment, with the intention of taking a rebel camp, re- 
ported by scouts to be situated at about a mile from the river, and of 
observing the country around, then to return to the river, or of waiting 
and reporting if I thought myself able to remain for reinforcements, or 
if I found a position capable of being defended and held against a 
largely superior force. Having only three boats, which together con- 
veyed about thirty men, it was nearly four o'clock when all the force 
was transferred to the opposite shore. We passed down the shore 
about sixty rods by a path discovered by the scouts, and then up the 
bluff, known as BalTs Bluff, where we found an open field, surrounded 
by woods. At this point I halted until daybreak. Here 1 was joined 
by Colonel Lee, with a company of 100 men from the Twentieth Massa- 
chusetts Regiment, as rear guard, who were to protect our return. I 
pushed forward towards Leesburg to the distance of ahout a mile from 
the river, to the spot supposed to be the site of the rebel camp, but 
found on passing through the woods that the scouts had been deceived 
by a line of trees on the brow of the slope, the opening through which 
presented, in an uncertain light, somewhat the appearance of a line of 
tents. Leaving the detachment in the woods, I proceeded with Captain 
Philbrick and three scouts across the slope, and along the other side 
of it, observing Leesburg, which was in full view, and the country 
about it, as carefully as possible, and seeing but four tents of 'the 
enemy. My force being concealed by the woods, and having no reason 
to believe my presence was discovered, and no large number of the en- 
emy's tents being in sight, I determined not to return at once, but to 
report to General Stone, at Edward's Ferry, which I did, by sending 
Quartermaster Howe to state these facts, and to say that in my opinion 
I could remain until I was reinforced. Quartermaster Howe left with 
his instructions at 6.30 A. m. He returned at eight a. m., and reported 
that I was to remain where I was, and would be reinforced, and that 
Lieutenant-Colonel Ward, with the remainder of the regiment, would 



1861.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 41 

proceed to Smart's Mill, and that communication should be kept up 
between us, and that by ten a. m. cavalry would report to me for the 
purpose of reconnoitering. For some reason they never appeared or 
reported to me, but came to the bluff. Colonel Baker allowed this 
cavaliy to return without scouting. If they had reported to me, they 
could have rendered excellent service, as firing had begun on the out- 
posts. I directed Quartermaster Howe to return at once and report the 
skirmish that had taken place, and that a force of the enemy was gath- 
ering. About ten o'clock Howe returned and stated that he had re- 
ported the skirmish of the morning, and that Colonel Baker would 
shortly arrive with his brigade and take command. Between ten and 
eleven o'clock A. M. I was joined by Lieutenant-Colonel Ward with the 
remainder of my regiment, a force of 625 men, with 2S officers, many of 
the men of the regiment being at this time on other duty. 

On the morning of the 21st of October General Stone gave Col. Ed- 
ward D. Baker discretionary authority to retire the small detachment 
then at Ball's Bluff [those that had been sent over on the night of the 
20th for reconnoissance] or to send over his brigade to support it, by the 
following order: 

Headquarters Corps of Observation, 
Edward's Ferry, 

October 21, 7.30 a. m. 
Col. E. D. Bakeii, Commanding Brigade : 

Colonel: In case of heavy firing in front of Harrison's Island, you 
will advance the California Regiment (Seventy-first) of your brigade, or 
retire the regiments under Colonels Devens and Lee upon the Virginia 
side of the river, at your discretion, assuming command on arrival. 
Very respectfully, colonel, your most obedient servant, 

CHARLES P. STONE, 
Brigadier-General Commanding. 

Colonel Baker at once, without further information, and without vis- 
iting the Virginia shore or organizing the boat service, gave the order 
to cross. The means of transportation consisted of a large fiat-boat 
with the capacity of holding thirty or forty men, besides a skiff, which 
would carry but four or five, were used to convey the troops to the isl- 
and. On the other side were two canal flat-boats which would carry 
about sixteen to twenty men each, were employed to transport the troops 
to the Virginia shore. From the Maryland shore to the island a rope 
was stretched. To this the boat was attached by a rope guy, and by 
means of pulling on the rope hand over hand, the boat would proceed 
from one side to the other, but it was very slow and laborious work, es- 
pecially for the artillery, for the guns had to be dismounted. In sup- 
port of this movement and to hold the enemy's attention, General Stone 
sent Colonel Gorman's brigade across at Edward's Ferry, where the 
principal force of the enemy had been seen and were still supposed to 



42 history of battery b, [October, 

be. Himself remaining with Colonel Gorman, and placed Col. E. D. 
Baker in command of the movement by Harrison's Island and Ball's 
Bluff, under the following orders: 

Headquarters Corps of Observation, ^ 
Edward's Ferry, Va., ?■ 

October 21st, 11.50. ) 
Col. E. D. Baker Commanding Brigade. 

Colonel: I am informed that the force of the enemy is about four thou- 
sand, all told. If you can push them, you may do so as far as to have a 
strong position near Leesburg, if you can keep them before you, avoiding 
their batteries. If they pass Leesburg and take the Gun Spring road you 
will not follow far, but seize the first good position to cover that road. 
Their design is to draw us on, if they are obliged to retreat, as far as 
Goose Creek, where they can be reinforced from Manassas and have a 
strong position. Report frequently, so that when they are pushed Gor- 
man can come in on their Hank. 

Yours respectfully and truly, 

CHAS. P. STONE, 
Brigadier-General Commanding. 

The Confederate commander, Brig. -Gen. W. G. Evans (Colonel Evans, 
who distinguished himself at the first Bull Run), early discovering 
both movements, and, having the advantage of a shorter line, con- 
cealed moreover by the nature of the ground, gradually withdrew all 
his forces save one regiment from Gorman's front, concentrated it 
against Colonel Baker, and about three o'clock p. m. attacked with vigor. 
Each side numbered about seventeen hundred men. Our troops had 
three light field pieces soon disabled, the enemy none; but their troops 
moved to the attack from commanding ground, well covered by trees 
and bushes, while ours, badly posted and badly arranged, were held to 
the bluff without room to retire or means of retreat. About twelve 
o'clock m. scouts reported to Colonel Devens that a force was gathering 
on his left; and about 12.30 o'clock a strong skirmish attack was made by 
a body of infantry concealed in the woods. The fire of the enemy was 
resolutely returned by the regiment, which maintained its ground with 
entire determination. Reinforcements not yet having arrived, and the 
enemy attempting to Hank him, he withdrew his regiment into the open 
space in the woods, and prepared to receive any attack that might be 
made. When this was done he returned to the bluff, where he found 
that Colonel Baker had already arrived, and was posting his command 
as fast as they arrived from the island in the position he was going to 
occupy. Colonel Baker apprised Colonel Devens that he had been 
placed in command of this movement, and directed him to form his 
regiment on the right of the position he proposed to occupy, which was 
done by eight companies of the Fifteenth Massachusetts, two companies 
detached supporting one gun of Battery B, First Rhode Island Light 



18G1.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 43 

Artillery, on the left of the Seventy-first Regiment. In the centre two 
howitzers of Battery I, First United States Artillery were posted, sup- 
ported by the Twentieth Massachusetts Regiment. 

Capt. Francis J. Young, assistant quartermaster of Colonel Baker's 
staff, is reported assaying: "As soon as Colonel Baker received the 
last order of General Stone's at 11.30 A. M., he immediately sent for 
three regiments and a squadron of cavalry from his brigade, and proceed- 
ing to the crossing at Harrison's Island, crossed to the Virginia side 
without delay with Adjutant-General Harvey, ordering the troops to fol- 
low with the two howitzers of the United States battery, sending me 
back with an order for Colonel Cogswell to bring over the artillery and 
his, the Tammany regiment, Forty-second New York Infantry, which 
were on picket along the river at this place." It was now two o'clock p. 
M., and the troops were fast concentrating at the crossing on the Mary- 
land side. Col. Milton Cogswell, of the Forty-second New York Regi- 
ment, says: " On arriving at the crossing I found the greatest confusion 
existing. No one seemed to be in charge, or any one superintending the 
passage of the troops, and no order was maintained in their crossing. 
My regiment was rapidly concentrated at the crossing, and I crossed 
with one company and two pieces of Battery B, First Rhode Island 
Light Artillery, under command of Lieut. Walter M. Bramhall* to 
the island, leaving verbal orders with Major Bowe, who remained 
in charge, to push the remainder of my regiment on as soon 
as possible. On landing I immediately crossed the island to make 
the passage of the second branch of the river, and there found 
still greater confusion existing than at the first landing. I pushed 
across and ascended the steep bluff (about seventy feet high), 
and reported myself to Colonel Baker. I found him near the bluff on the 
edge of an open field of about eight or ten acres extent, where he had 
formed his line with the Seventy-first Pennsylvania Regiment on the 
left, Twentieth Massachusetts in centre, and the Fifteenth Massachu- 
setts Regiment on the right, with the left thrown well in front, thus 
forming an angle to his line. In front of the angle thus formed were 
posted the two howitzers. 

Colonel Baker welcomed me on the field, seemed in good spirits, and 
very confident of a successful day. He requested me to look at his line 
Of battle, and with him I passed along the whole front. He asked my 
opinion of the disposition of the troops, and I told him frankly that I 
deemed them very defective, as the wooded hills beyond the ravine com- 
manded the whole so perfectly, that should they be occupied by the 
enemy he would be destroyed, and I advised an immediate advance of 
the whole force to occupy the hills, which were not then occupied by the 
enemy. Colonel Baker then ordered me to take charge of the artillery, 
but without any definite instructions as to its service, and as one gun of 
the Rhode Island battery had arrived upon the field it was placed on the 
left of the line, supported by two companies of the Fifteenth Massachu- 
setts. About twenty minutes afterwards the hills on the left front to 

* Sixth New York Battery. 



44 history of battery b, [October, 

which I had called his attention were occupied by the enemy's skirmish- 
ers, who immediately opened a sharp fire on our left. I immediately 
ordered the artillery to open fire on those skirmishers, but soon per- 
ceived that the fire was ineffectual, as the enemy was under cover of the 
trees, shooting down the gunners at easy musket range. Soon Lieuten- 
ant Bramhall and nearly all the artillerymen had been shot down, and 
the piece was worked for a time by Colonel Baker and Captains Harvey, 
and Stewart, of his staff, Captain Bartlett, of the Twentieth Massachu- 
setts, and others. Leaving the gun Colonel Baker went to the right of 
the line. Leaving the howitzers I proceeded to the extreme left, as I 
saw the whole strength of the enemy was being thrown on this point, 
where I found Lieutenant-Colonel Wistar had been badly wounded, and 
that the left wing, without a commander, was becoming disorganized. 
I then ordered Captain Markoe, of the Seventy-first Pennsylvania Regi- 
ment, to move his company to the left, and hold on at all hazards. He 
moved as directed, engaged the enemy, and held his ground for some 
time, but could gain no advantage, for by this time the hills on our left 
front were fully occupied by the enemy. Two companies of my regi- 
ment, under Captain Alden, had now arrived on the field, cheering 
most heartily, and with this fresh force we pushed the enemy some few 
rods back, but they had obtained too strong possession of the hills to be 
dislodged. An unequal contest was maintained for about half an hour, 
when Captain Harvey, assistant adjutant-general, reported to me that 
Colonel Baker having been killed (lie was going from the right of the 
line to the left, passed in front of the line, when he was instantly killed 
by the fire of the enemy's sharp-shooters), I was in command of the 
field, and that a council of war was being held by the remaining colo- 
nels. I repaired to the point occupied by Colonels Lee and Devens, and 
found that they had decided on making a retreat. I informed them I 
Avas in command of the field, and that a retreat across the river was im- 
possible, and the only movement to be made was to try to cut our way 
through to Edward's Ferry, and that a column of attack must be at 
once formed for that purpose. At the same time I directed Captain 
Harvey, assistant adjutant general, to form the whole force into col- 
umn of attack, faced to the left. Having given these orders, I pro- 
ceeded to the front, and, finding our lines pressed severely, I ordered an 
advance of the whole force on the right of the enemy's line. I was fol- 
lowed by the remnant of my regiment and a portion of the California 
regiment, but, for some reasons unknown to me, was not joined by 
either the Fifteenth or the Twentieth Massachusetts regiments. We 
were overpowered and forced back, and driven from our position to the 
river bank by overwhelming numbers. On the river bank I found the 
whole force in a state of great disorder. As I arrived two more com- 
panies (the last of my regiment), under Captains Geretz and O'Meara, 
had just landed. I ordered these fresh companies up the bluff, to de- 
ploy as skirmishers to cover the passage to the island, while I took a 
few men and moved to the left to check a heavy fire of the enemy which 
had opened on us from the mouth of the ravine. We were almost im- 
mediately surrounded and captured. 



1861.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 45 

This took place shortly after dark. Colonel Cogswell says in conclu- 
sion : ' '• 1 deem it my duty as commander of the held d uring the last part 
of the engagement to state my convictions as to the principal cause of 
the untoward results of the day: First. The transportation of troops 
across the two branches of the river was in no way guarded or organ- 
ized. There were no guards at any of the landings. No boats' crews 
had been detailed, and each command as it arrived was obliged to or- 
ganize its own. No guns were placed in position, either on the Mary- 
land side or on the island, to protect the passage, although several 
pieces were disposable on the shore at the landing. Had the full ca- 
pacity of the boats been employed, with boats' crews, more than twice 
as many men might have crossed in the time to take part in. the action. 
Second. The disposition on the field was faulty, according to my judg- 
ment. For the hills across the ravine commanded the whole open field." 

The final effect of not looking after the boat service was seen in the 
presence of fifteen companies of infantry (the Nineteenth Massachu- 
setts and part of the Forty-second New York) at Harrison's Island on 
their way to the scene of action at the moment of defeat. This error, 
like the others, was the result of Colonel Baker's inexperience. No one 
ever sought to blame him. But with the cry of grief that went up all 
over the land at the untimely death of the brave and eloquent Baker, 
who had left the Senate to take the field, was mingled the cry of rage 
of a few men among his personal followers. They filled the public ear 
with misrepresentations, to which General Stone and his officers, re- 
strained by discipline, were unable to reply. The whole blame was at 
once thrown upon General Stone, though not, indeed, by those who 
knew the facts and were capable of judging. 

The following extract denotes the substance of such irresponsible 
accusations against him as reached the public at the time: 

" Feb. 9, 1862. Brig.-Gen. Charles P. Stone was arrested in Washington 
this morning, at two o'clock, by a posse of the provost marshal's force, 
was sent to Fort Lafayette, New York harbor. The charges against 
him are: First. For misbehavior at the battle of Ball's Bluff. Second. 
For holding correspondence with the enemy before and since the battle 
of Ball's Bluff, and of receiving visits from rebel officers in his camp. 
Third. For treacherously suffering the enemy to build a fort or strong 
works since the battle of Ball's Bluff, under his guns without molesta- 
tion. Fourth. For a treacherous design to expose his force to capture 
and destruction by the enemy, under a pretence of orders for a move- 
ment from the commanding general, wdiich had not been given. These 
charges were never proven by a court-martial." 

But a few days after Stone's examination by a committee on the 
charges, the missing link was supplied by a surprising occurrence. A 
negro refugee came into Gen. W. W. Burns's lines from Leesburg, with 
a vague and utterly groundless story of mysterious flags of truce and 
how much the Confederates thought of their friend Stone. When this 
was reported to the War Department, Secretary Stanton immediately 
ordered his arrest, and Stone's ruin was accomplished. He was in May, 



46 



HISTORY OF BATTERY B, 



[October, 



1863, restored to duty upon the earnest request of General Banks, com- 
manding the Department of the Gulf, and was ordered to report to him. 
General McClellau applied for him in vain. 

General Hooker's first act on taking command of the Army of the 
Potomac was to ask for him as chief of staff. He reported to General 
Banks during the siege of Port Hudson, and rendered valuable service, 
though without assignment. Immediately afterwards General Banks 
appointed him chief of staff, and he served in this capacity until April, 

1864. He was, by orders issued at Washington, deprived of his commis- 
sion as brigader-general of volunteers, and ordered to " report by let- 
ter" as colonel of the Fourteenth U. S. Infantry, his old command. 

In August, 1864, Lieutenant-General Grant assigned him to the, com- 
mand of a brigade in the Fifth Army Corps. A month later, worn out 
at last by the strain of the unmerited suffering he had so long endured 
in silence, he resigned; and thus it was that this most gallant, accom- 
plished and faithful soldier was, upon no charges, without a hearing, 
upon "evidence" upon which to condemn, endured a long and rigorous 
imprisonment, a punishment so much worse than death that in all ages 
men have sought death because they lacked the courage to endure it. 




Private Lorenzo D. Budlong. 



18G1.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 47 



CHAPTER V. 



BATTERY REORGANIZED— NEW GUNS— WINTER 
QUARTERS. 

IN the afternoon of October 23d, the cannoneers were set to work 
washing the gun carriages and caissons, and the drivers the har- 
nesses. Captain Vaughn visited our wounded at the hospital 
and reported that they were as comfortable as could be expected, 
and everything that could be done for their comfort had been at- 
tended to. 

October 24th. The guard stationed at the pieces of the right 
section at Monocacy, on the lookout watching the house across the 
Potomac, reported that men could be seen gathering about the place, 
and by Lieutenant Adams's orders two shells were fired at them, one 
striking the house and exploding. There was a stampede of those 
gathered about the place. They made for the woods in the rear, 
and, during the rest of the day, no one could be seen there. In the 
afternoon Lieutenant Perry, having returned from Washington, took 
command of his section, and Lieutenant Adams returned to camp at 
Poolesville to his disabled section. 

About ten o'clock that night, lights were reported to be seen mov- 
ing around and about the house and barn across the river. Lieu- 
tenant Perry ordered the men to their posts and to prepare the pieces 
for action, and, about eleven o'clock the house and barn were 
riddled with shot and shell, and the barn set on fire and burned. 
No more signaling was seen, nor men gathering there afterwards. 
The only one seen about the place was an old negro, and he was not 
molested. 

On October 25th, Lieutenant Bloodgood with the centre section 
went to Monocacy, and relieved the first section, and Lieutenant 
Perry returned with it to camp at Poolesville. 



48 history ok battery b, [November, 

On the 26th of October, Lieutenant Adams with a detail of men, 
and Quartermaster-Sergeant Dyer, started for Washington, D. C, 
to get a gun to replace the one lost at the Battle of Balls Bluff, Va., 
on the 21st instant. 

On the 31st, Lieutenant Bloodgood with his section returned to 
Poolesville camp, the battery being relieved from guard duty at the 
Monocacy aqueduct. Captain Vaughn having recovered from the 
sickness caused by over exertion in burying the dead at Ball's 
Bluff, drilled the men at the manual of the piece. 

One day, while the battery was doing picket duty at Monocacy, 
the lieutenant in command of the section was standing in front of 
his tent cleaning his pistol and the men were lounging about camp. 
The guard on the lookout across the Potomac for signals reported 
all quiet. A steer came running down from over the hill, and, when 
in front of the officers' quarters, on seeing the lieutenant, stopped 
and faced him. Quick as a flash the lieutenant raised his pistol and 
fired. The steer dropped. . On hearing the report of the pistol the 
men rushed out towards the lieutenant's quarters to see what the 
firing was for, and saw the steer lying on the ground kicking. 
Several of the men who were first upon the scene quickly took in 
the situation. John Arnold rushed up to the steer and cut its throat. 
Others took up the tarpaulin from the limber and covered it up, and, 
seating themselves on the tarpaulin began to deal cards around for a 
game. It was not many minutes after the firing of the pistol when 
one of the neighboring farmers came over the hill from the direction 
the steer came and passed the men at card playing, entered the camp 
and inquired if any one had seen a steer pass that way, at the same 
time looking about the grounds. He was told that- one had been 
seen going in the direction of the river. He left the camp, again 
passing the men at card playing, going in the direction indicated, and 
was soon out of sight. The men then dragged the steer to the 
woods where it was dressed and cut up, the offal buried, and in less 
than thirty minutes all traces of the steer had vanished, and there 
only remained what was supposed to be government beef, upon which 
the men feasted while it lasted, not forgetting to send some of the 
choice cuts to the lieutenant's table. 

November 1st. In the afternoon Lieutenant Adams and men re- 
turned from Washington with a ten-pounder Parrott gun and seven 
horses. The battery received orders to exchange their James's guns 
for ten-pounder Parrotts, long range rifled cast-iron guns. It is said 



1861.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 49 

that the James's guns are to be withdrawn from field service. To- 
day the battery was mustered for the months of September and 
October. 

On Sunday, November 3d, Lieutenant Bloodgood with the 
centre section left camp and started for Washington, the men in 
good spirits and pleased with the opportunity to visit the Capitol 
City again. 

On the 8th, Lieutenant Bloodgood returned with two new Parrott 
guns and caissons. The men had a very pleasant time going and 
returning. 

November 9th. Lieutenant Perry left for Washington with the 
right section, and one piece and two caissons of the left section to be 
exchanged. It rained when they started, which was about one 
o'clock p. M., and just before sunset the rain came down as if the 
clouds had burst ; then suddenly ceased, the clouds broke away 
and the sun appeared, shining brightly until it passed from 
view behind the hills. They arrived at Rockville at eight o'clock 
p. m., and encamped on the Fair Grounds. Here were nice sheds 
for the horses, and the men slept in the building erected for exhi- 
bitions. The men appreciated these dry and comfortable quarters, 
rather than encamp on the cold, wet ground. 

At sunrise the next morning reveille was sounded, and soon every- 
body was busy preparing for the march. We left Rockville at eight 
o'clock a. M. It was a very pleasant morning, the men in fine, 
spirits, the roads in good condition for marching, and better than 
the day before. We passed through Tenallytown, Georgetown, and 
Washington to Camp Sprague, where we arrived about three p. m., 
and were surprised, but pleased to find encamped in the old artillery 
quarters Battery F, of Rhode Island, Captain James Belger com- 
manding. We remained at Camp Sprague until noon of the 12th, 
then went to the Arsenal, exchanged the James's guns, and received 
two brass howitzers and one Parrott gun with caissons and ammu- 
nition, and left Washington about six p. m., arriving at Rockville 
about midnight and encamped there until eleven o'clock the next 
day, when we left for Poolesville and reached there about five p. m., 
November 13th. We here learned the welcome news that the pay- 
master was at headquarters awaiting our return. The men forgot 
all about the fatigue of their march, and at six p. m. were 
formed in line and paid for the months of September and October. 
The 14th and 15th were cloudy, cold, and windy days. The 

4 



50 history of battery b, [November, 

battery was inspected by Captain Vaughn, and the gun detachments 
were reorganized. The right and centre sections had the four 
Parrotts, and the left section the two howitzers. The men were 
proud of their new battery. 

November 16th. Had orders to move camp, packed up and 
moved to a grove about one and one-half miles from the village. It 
was a much warmer and better place for an artillery camp, and the 
men were kept busy, until November 23d, in building winter quarters. 
The drivers made a stable for the horses by setting crotched trees cut 
for the purpose in two rows twelve feet apart. Long poles were laid 
in the crotches for stringers on which short poles were laid for the 
roof. For the sides, poles were placed one end on the ground the 
other against the poles in the crotches at an angle slanting about six 
feet. Then the sides and top were thatched with straw, of which 
there was an abundance a short distance from the camp. The stable 
was in the form of a square of three sides, opened to the south. A 
floor of small trees, and cut twelve feet long, was laid side by side, 
then covered with dirt, and leveled off even, so as to keep the horses' 
feet out of the mud. It made a warm, dry and comfortable shelter 
from the wintry storms. The cannoneers made the quarters for the 
officers and men. The officers had the square or wall tent, the 
men had the sixteen feet diameter, round tents, called the Sibley. 
These were stockaded two feet high with trees cut to lengths, split 
and set into the ground, and then banked with earth. The tents 
were then placed on the top and secured. A fire-pit was dug in the 
centre of the enclosure, a trench running from it tenor twelve feet 
outside, the pit covered with flat stones, and the trench with the limbs 
of the trees, all covered with dirt. For the chimney, barrels or 
cracker boxes two or three on end, with a pole set into the ground 
beside them to prevent their being blown down by the storms. In 
this way very comfortable, warm and dry quarters were made. 

About this time a generous donation of money was received by 

the battery from the Hon. James Y. Smith, afterwards governor of 

the State ; and the following acknowledgment appeared in the Provi- 

idence Journal : 

November 19th, 1861. 
Acknowledgment. 

The undersigned, in behalf of Battery B, First Regiment Rhode Island 
Light Artillery, gratefully acknowledges the receipt of Fifty Dollars 
from the Hon. James Y. Smith, for hospital stores for the wounded 
and sick in the hospital at Poolesville, Md. 

T. F. VAUGHN, Captain Commanding. 



1861.] FIKST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 51 

Sunday, November 24th. Col. Charles H. Tompkins, of the First 
Regiment of Rhode Island Light Artillery, visited the camp. In 
the afternoon the battery was inspected by him. Then we went up 
to the Poolesville plains, had field drill, and fired fifty-four blank 
cartridges ; and, after a short complimentary address by the colonel, 
on the manner in which we drilled, and our fine appearance, we 
returned to camp. 

November 27th. Battery A, of the Rhode Island Light Artillery 
Regiment, arrived, and encamped at our right in the same grove. 
There was another pleasant meeting of friends and acquaintances. 

November 28th. This is Thanksgiving Day in Rhode Island. 
The people there will attend church, to praise and thank the Lord 
for his blessings, and bountiful provision for their spiritual welfare. 
How different it is with the soldiers in the field. Their tabernacle 
must be under the blue canopy of heaven, But in time of war, the 
soldier cannot choose the house or place of worship, and so the day 
passed, as many others before it, in drill at the manual of the piece in 
the forenoon, and in the afternoon field drill. In the evening the 
quartermaster-sergeant arrived with turkeys, our share of those 
which had been sent by Governor Sprague to all Rhode Island 
soldiers. They arrived too late for dinner. Second Lieut. Francis 
A. Smith, who had been sick for a long time resigned, and was dis- 
charged to-day. 

November 29th. We had our turkey dinner to-day and 
heartily enjoyed it, and were pleased to think that we came from a 
state that had a governor who was so kind and thoughtful of the 
soldiers' welfare. 

November 30th. The extra work for the men was finished to- 
day, camp quarters all built, and the men are proud of their camp. 
Nothing more to do now, only the regular routine of camp duty and 
drill. During the month of November the battery, if the weather 
permitted, was drilled twice a day either by Captain Vaughn, or the 
chiefs of sections. The men and horses became quite proficient in 
artillery field movements, the commands being given by the bugle ; 
which, when once learned, is far better understood than when given by 
the word of mouth. 

The proficiency of the men did credit to their instructors. Having 
good physical constitutions, being young, sprightly, and supple, with 
that intelligence of quickly understanding the duties of the different post 
numbers of the gun detachment, they could at the word of command 



52 history of battery b, [December, 

or bugle call, unlimber, stand at posts in battery, then dismount gun 
and gun carriage, lie prone upon the ground, then arise, mouut car- 
riage, mount gun, stand at attention, at post, then load and fire — in 
an almost incredible short space of time, — that of one minute and 
thirteen seconds. And again (the men lounging about camp and 
tents, the horses at picket-rope), from the time the bugler sounded 
"Boots and saddles" call, and the command of the orderly ser- 
geant, k ' Lively, now ! lively !" the horses are harnessed and hitched 
up, cannoneers at their posts, the men of the battery are mounted and 
ready to leave the park for drill in one minute and twelve seconds. 
It was admitted by those who witnessed these performances (and 
there had been a great number of officers at different times), to be re- 
markably quick time, and well performed. 

Sunday, December 1st. Captain Vaughn having sent in his resig- 
nation, turned the command over to First Lieut. Raymond H. 
Perry, and left for Washington, and was discharged from the ser- 
vice Dec. 2, 1861. 

Sunday, December 8th. The battery was inspected by First 
Lieutenant Ferry, and a number of passes to the village were given 
to those that made the best appearance. In the afternoon Second 
Lieut. G. Lyman Dwight (promoted from first sergeant of Battery 
A, First Regiment Rhode Island Light Artillery), came to the bat- 
tery and reported for duty. 

On December 13th, reveille at three o'clock a. m., caused by 
having received marching orders the night before. At sunrise the 
battery left camp, Lieuteuant Perry commanding, marched to near 
Conrad's Ferry, and were placed in position on a high bank overlooking 
the canal and river, and prepared for action. It was* reported that a 
rebel camp was in the woods across the river on the Virginia side, 
and there were indications that the Confederates were building a fort 
or earthworks, and we were to shell their camp, which we did right 
merrily. Battery A, Rhode Island, was also in position on our 
right, shelling, but seemed to have poor luck, as many of their 
shells dropped into the river and some on the bank, between the 
canal and river, among our own pickets. This fact indicated that 
they were using very poor ammunition or damp powder. The few 
rebels that could be seen, at our first fire scattered in wild confusion, 
ran for the woods and were soOn out of sight. We fired about 
thirty rounds, and, receiving no reply, we ceased firing, and, after 
waiting and watching (as no one could be seen in the vicinity), the 



1861.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 53 

battery was ordered to return to camp, leaving the centre section 
there on guard, under command of Lieutenant Dwight, where they re- 
mained a few days and then returned to camp. First Sergt. Jacob 
B. Lewis, Sergt. John McCoombs, and a number of others, who 
had been sick for some time, were discharged for disability, and sent 
home to-day. Sergt. George W. Blair was promoted to first ser- 
geant, vice Lewis, discharged. 

On Sunday, December 15th, the following promotions were made : 
Private John E. Wardlow, to first duty sergeant ; Sergt. Charles H. 
Adams, to second duty sergeant ; Corp. Sylvester G. Ide, to third duty 
sergeant ; Corp. Richard H. Gallup, to fourth duty sergeant ; Sergt. 
John T. Blake, to fifth duty sergeant ; Corp. Charles A. Libbey, to 
sixth duty sergeant. The following privates were promoted to cor- 
porals : Albert Straight, Robert A. Laird, Morris Carmichael, 
Ziba C. Thayer, and William Jones. 

December 16th. The centre section returned to camp from picket 
duty near Conrad's Ferry. 

December 18th. As the battery was preparing for the regular 
afternoon field drill, Lieutenant Perry on receiving orders from head- 
quarters, dispatched the right section under Lieutenant Adams to 
the river for picket duty. The rest of the battery, under Lieutenant 
Perry, went up to the Plains for drill. The right section went down 
the river to Conrad's Ferry, then moved down along the bank about 
a quarter of a mile below the place where the troops crossed to Har- 
rison's Island at the time of the battle of Ball's Bluff, and took po- 
sition in battery on a high bluff overlooking the Potomac, which 
commands the Virginia side for quite a distance, and immediately 
prepared for action. Quite a force of rebels could be seen at work 
on what looked to be, a fort or large earthworks, which they had 
commenced to build during the night before, and had been steadily 
working on the sajne all the morning. As soon as the section was 
placed in position, Lieutenant Adams gave orders to shell the works 
with spherical case. For fifteen minutes the rebel earthworks were 
rapidly shelled, and at times a solid shot was fired. After firing 
some forty rounds orders were given to cease firing, and when the 
smoke cleared away no one could be seen about the earthworks. 
After remaining in position for two hours and receiving no reply 
from the rebels, it was concluded that they had no artillery over 
there, and Lieutenant Adams received orders to withdraw from the 
river bank and move back near the camp of the infantry pickets, 



54 history of battery u, [December, 

(the Ninth New York Regiment), bivouacked for the night, and 
made a rousing fire for protection from the raw, cold wintry wind. 
The next morning, December 19th, the guns were again placed in 
position on the bluff, in rear of the locality they had occupied the 
day before, and a guard was stationed with them as a lookout, to 
report any gathering of the rebels at the fort they were endeavoring 
to construct the day before. By Lieutenant Adams's orders the 
drivers built a barricade of trees, limbs and straw for the protection 
of the horses, as a cold, strong wind was blowing. The cannoneers 
constructed huts of the same material, and, by building a fire in 
front of them, they managed to keep quite comfortable. 

On the morning of December 25th, Lieutenant Adams, with the 
drivers and their horses, went up to the camp at Poolesville, leaving 
Sergeant Wardlow in charge of the section. On Lieutenant 
Adams's return, there came with him two men with a mess kettle of 
beer, the sight of this made the men smile. When it was served 
to them they drank to the health of their officers, and thanked them 
for their Christmas treat. The men appreciated the kindness shown 
them, by their orderly behavior during the remainder of the day. 
As everything was quiet on the Potomac, Lieutenant Adams went 
up to Poolesville camp just before dusk. 

While the right section was on picket duty at the river below 
Conrad's Ferry, the other two sections of the battery remained in 
camp, and drilled when the weather would permit, and, for a change 
from the monotonous camp duties and drills, the officers decided to 
allow the men to have a grand celebration on Christmas day. 
Several large loads of wood were brought into camp. A goodly 
supply of apples, with other vegatables, had been received from the 
Sanitary Commission of Rhode Island the day before. Some turkeys, 
geese, and a few Maryland rabbits (pigs) had been secured from 
the neighboring farmers. Quartermaster-sergeant Dyer, by the 
officers orders, procured a small barrel of beer. Just after retreat 
roll call the feast which had been prepared by the cooks was served, 
after which the barrel of beer was tapped, and the celebration 
began. At dusk a large bon-fire was lighted to enliven the occasion. 

In the midst of the enjoyment, Lieutenant Adams went to the 
quarters of the left section, and, in a loud voice, called for " Reckless." 
This was a nick-name given to one of the men of that section, H. 
A. G — . First Sergeant Blair reported that he was on guard. 
" Have him relieved and report to headquarters with his violin, " 



1861.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 55 

said the lieutenant. " Reckless " was relieved, and, with his violin 
reported to the officers' quarters, and for hours jigs, reels, hornpipes, 
and break-downs, were in order. James A. Sweet and others gave 
a fine exhibition of their skill in dancing "On the Green." 

Taps were not sounded until a late hour, and it was admitted by- 
all, that they had had a grand time, and the men, with one or two ex- 
ceptions, did not abuse the privileges which had been extended them 
on this occasion of theiit first Christmas in " My Maryland." 

December 3 1st. For the past few days our infantry under the in- 
struction of an engineer have been very busy building a fort on 
a hill to the left of our station. As the fort across the river still 
continues to progress, the work being done by the rebels during 
the night, our troops also are building one to compete with it. No 
work is done by the rebels during the day, for if they attempt to do 
so we soon make it hot for them by our shells, which are sent over 
as a challenge to return the compliment, but they have not as yet 
returned our fire. 

The Virginia side of the river is now picketed by the rebel infantry, 
and at times a squad of their cavalry can be seen. There is no 
firing of the infantry pickets, but at times the rebels will shout and 
ask, " Who's you ones over thar !" Our men would answer, " Two 
Hundred and Nineteenth Massachusetts" for the Nineteenth Massa- 
chusetts Regiment, and so on, not giving the right number. In 
answer to our pickets who would inquire where they were from, 
they would say, "Who's we! why, the Seventeenth Mississippi, " 
giving their correct number, they not having caught on to the little 
game of the Yankees of increasing numbers. 

At night the usual word was passed along our lines of "All quiet 
along the Potomac." And so ends the year of 1861, — All is quiet. 

Christmas week in the South, is generally observed as a holiday by 
the colored population. During Christmas week of 1861, there was 
a wedding on the plantation of Mr. Smoot, near Conrad's Ferry. 
The happy couple were slaves that belonged to Mr. Smoot. On the 
day of the event, there was a general gathering of the colored people 
from far and near, old and young, great and small. A number 
of the men of Battery B who were not on duty went to witness 
the ceremony. Among the number was "Reckless," who, was 
met by others on their way to the plantation, as he was return- 
ing from camp with his violin. There was an old negro, who 
seemed to be master of ceremonies, having very much to say and 



56 history of battery b, [January, 

strutted around among his people like a lord. He carried a violin, 
and, judging by its looks, it must have been quite aged, or very 
much the worse for wear. After the marriage ceremony was con- 
cluded there was a celebration, consisting of singing and dancing. 
It had not proceeded far, before the old negro spied " Reckless" and 
his violin, and would not take no for an answer to his invitation to 
join in the celebration. Then when "Reckless" struck up a jig, 
which the old negro tried to follow on his fiddle, the dancers (the 
negroes) acted as if they would shake themselves to pieces. The 
negroes had an exciting time, which they kept up all that night, and 
a portion of the next day. 

Jan. 1, 1862. Our first New Year's day in the service of our 
country was made pleasant by bright and sunshiny weather. In 
most of the regiments of the brigade, as well as the batteries, the 
customary drills were omitted, and the men were permitted a holi- 
day ; passes were given to visit within the division line, and a num- 
ber of the men of our battery went up to the village (Poolesville), 
as there were a number of sutlers located there. To-day Private 
Henry W. Bromley was appointed acting corporal. 

On Sunday, January 5th, Col. Charles H. Tompkins, of the First 
Regiment Rhode Island Light Artillery, paid a visit to the officers. 
He also inspected the battery and camp, and, in the afternoon, with 
Lieutenant Perry, visited the right section near Conrad's Ferry. 
Isaac W. Slack was transferred and left to-day. 

January 6th. James A. Sweet was promoted to wheelwright, 
vice Slack, transferred. 

January 11th. The left section gun detachments, under Lieuten- 
ant Bloodgood, went to Conrad's Ferry and relieved the first section, 
which returned to Poolesville camp. Their guns were left in posi- 
tion, as it wa,s too muddy to move them, and were taken in charge 
by the men of the left section. 

Yesterday evening Battery G, First Regiment Rhode Island Light 
Artillery, Capt. Charles D. Owen, commanding, reached this place 
bringing several well-known friends, who returned our greeting. 
As it passed our park their twenty-pounders seemed to smile scorn- 
fully on our ten-pounders and howitzers ; but they need not have 
done so, for were they not all in the family? indeed, it might have 
been naught but stately recognition, for iron faces are proverbially 
inexpressive. The battery bivouacked in the woods to our right at 
the camp lately occupied by Battery A. They subsequently occu- 
pied the fort near our picket station below Conrad's Ferry. 




Capt. Walter O. Bartlett. 



1862.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 57 

January 13th. The weather for the past few days has been raw 
and cold, the snow covering the ground to the depth of two inches. 
The water also has frozen an inch thick. The snow and ice have 
most effectually locked the wheels of our pieces and caissons, ren- 
dering field drills impossible, and even the " manual of the piece" 
is but a clumsy attempt at "movements most precise;" therefore 
drill has been suspended, and we have passed five months of mili- 
tary service ; yet to-day, as the result of industry and laborious 
training, we occupy no second rank in the volunteer arm of the 
service ; and, with the spirit that pervades the young men of the 
Rhode Island batteries, each month will witness greater proficiency. 
Comparisons are neither necessary nor always in good taste. To 
boast of superiority would be folly, as to depreciate the truth would 
be a violation of self-respect. We hear many pleasant things 
said of us by friends, which are received as incentives to merit their 
favorable opinions. 

On the afternoon of January 2lst, Ave received the welcome news 
that Uncle Sam's paymaster was at division headquarters, and that 
the battery would be paid before he returned to Washington. Just 
before noon on the 22d he came to our camp. The men were formed 
in line by First Sergeant Blair, marched to the officers' quarters, 
and, as each man's name was called, he signed the muster roll, and 
then received from the paymaster twenty-six dollars for the months 
of November and December, 1861. The cannoneers of the centre 
section were paid first, and, under command of Lieutenant D wight, 
went to Cornad's Ferry, to relieve the left section, who returned to 
the camp, and were also paid, the paymaster waiting for that pur- 
pose. 

January 31st. Late in the afternoon Capt. Walter O. Bartlett 
(promoted from first lieutenant of Battery E, First Regiment Rhode 
Island Light Artillery,) arrived. He is to have command of our 
battery. 

February 1st. After camp and battery inspection, Captain Bart- 
lett was introduced, by Lieutenant Perry, as our new commander, 
after which the captain, and Lieutenant Perry went to visit the 
centre section at their picket station below Conrad's Ferry. 

Sunday, February 2d. Lieutenant Perry went to Washington, 
having a ten days' leave of absence. 

February 3d. Lieutenant Adams, with the right section, relieved 
the centre section, and it came to camp. 



58 history of battery b, [February, 

February 10th. Tbe centre section, under Lieutenant Bloodgood, 
relieved the right section, and returned to camp. As they left the 
station the rebels could be seen in force, gathered about their earth- 
works, and a squad of their cavalry was discovered in the edge of 
the woods, upon which the centre section opened fire. A few shots 
were also fired from our fort, the rebels dispersed, and " all was 
quiet again on the Potomac." 

On February 13th Lieutenant Perry returned and took command 
of his section, the right; Lieutenant Bloodgood, the centre; 
Lieutenant Adams, the left; and Lieutenant Dwight as chief of 
caissons. Captain Bartlett commanded the battery. Thus we were 
now fully officered again. 

On February 23d the men of the battery received new clothing, 
which were issued to those that were in need of any pants, shirts, 
drawers, socks, or hats. 

February 24th the right section, under Lieutenant Perry, re- 
lieved the centre section at the river. These frequent changes were 
made, it was said, for the benefit, comfort, and welfare of the men ; 
as picket duty is not always a pleasant one to perform, especially in 
winter weather. At noon the battery received marching orders, 
and Captain Bartlett at once dispatched orders for the right section 
to return to Poolesville with all of their equipage. Drivers with 
their horses were sent down for the pieces, and the section soon re- 
turned to camp. The cooks were given orders to prepare three days' 
cooked rations for the men. Many rumors were circulated around 
the camp as to the nature of these orders. One was that we were 
going to Washington, then to Manassas, Va. To what point an ad- 
vance was to be made, could only be surmised, but the orders were 
obeyed with alacrity ; for, however strong their admiration of Pooles- 
ville, with Camp Perry and its surroundings, the men were anxious 
for something more lively than camp life afforded, and welcomed a 
change that gave promise of a hand in putting secession hors de 
comhat. 

February 25th. Reveille at sunrise. Breakfast was served early, 
and, while the cannoneers were packing camp equipage, the drivers 
took the horses to the brook to water. Three days' rations of grain 
were packed on the caissons. Three days' rations of cooked salt 
beef and hard bread were issued to the men to be carried in the 
haversacks. The tents were struck and packed. These, with the 
supplies and camp equipage, that could not be carried, were placed 



1862.] 



FIRST RHODE ISLAND LKiHT ARTILLERY. 



59 



in a barn, to be forwarded to us. They were subsequently sent to 
Washington and never received by the battery. At noon " boots 
and saddles " call sounded, the battery was soon hitched up, and a 
formal farewell bidden to our old encampment, as we moved out to- 
wards the village of Poolesville. 




Sergt. Pardon S. Walker. 



60 history of battery H, [February, 



CHAPTER VI. 



MARCH TO HARPER'S FERRY, BOLIVAR AND WIN- 
CHESTER, TO THE SUPPORT OF GENERAL BANKS 
IN THE VALLEY— RETURN TO WASHINGTON. 

IN regard to the opening of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad 
along the upper Potomac, General Banks's division was sent to 
occupy the Shenandoah Valley to Winchester, and the old 
division of General Stone was sent forward to cooperate with him. 
The combined forces were thought strong enough to resist any attack 
by the Confederates, then at Manassas. The division left Camp 
Observation on the morning of Feb. 25, 1862. Battery B, fol- 
lowing, the troops passed through Poolesville, and Barnseville and 
bivouacked for the night on rising ground, at the foot of Sugar Loaf 
Mountain. The night being cold, raw, and windy, the men were 
allowed to build fires. These were kept burning all night by those 
who were on guard. Around the fires the men slept on the ground 
rolled up in their blankets. Doubtless some dreamed of their com- 
fortable quarters and camp at Poolesville, others, of friends and loved 
ones at home, and as morning dawned awoke to realize the stern 
realities of a soldier's life with all its privations. 

February 26th. About nine A. M. the battery started on a slow, 
hard, and tedious march to cross over the mountain, and at some 
places five or six pairs of horses had to be used, to a piece and 
caisson, before it could be moved along on account of the mud (for 
it had begun to rain), and the steepness of the road, with a great 
deal of difficulty. After severe labor we succeeded in going over 
the mountain, passing through Greenfield Mills, and Three Spring 
Mills, small villages. We continued our march onward, and ar- 
rived at Adamstown, Md., in the afternoon and halted for the night, 
the men quartered in a barn, a more comfortable place than some of 
the troops had who were compelled to encamp on the cold, wet 
ground. 



1862.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 61 

February 27th. The roads were in such a bad condition, that the 
battery was ordered to the railroad depot, loaded the guns and am- 
munition chests aboard the cars, and, with the cannoneers, went to 
Sandy Hook by rail. The drivers, with the gun and caisson 
carriages, battery wagons and forge, went with the horses, by a coun- 
try road to within three-quarters of a mile of the village and en- 
camped for the night. 

February 28th. The guns and ammunition chests were mounted 
again, and the battery crossed the Potomac River from Sandy 
Hook, Md., to Harper's Ferry, Va., on a pontoon bridge which had 
been built for the purpose. Everything about the place plainly showed 
the work of destruction and desolation. The government armory, 
the arsenal, and the factory for the manufactory of small arms, were 
in a heap of ruins. 

The battery passed on through the village, up High Street, to 
Bolivar Heights, to the grounds and mansion lately occupied by 
Alfred M. Barbour, ex-civil superintendent of the United States 
government works at Harper's Ferry (then a brigadier-general in 
the Confederate army). Here we encamped. The men occupied 
the house, their horses the barn and out-buildings of the negroes 
on the place. The guns were parked on the lawn in front of the 
house. Here the battery remained until the advance move to Win- 
chester. While here the battery received the following recruits 
from Rhode Island: Patrick Brady, John F. Craven, Daniel 
Capron, John Greene, Joseph Luther and William B. Wood. A 
number of men were also discharged for disability. While here the 
men enjoyed visiting the ruins and the dismantled buildings of the 
quaint old town, especially the old engine house, or John Brown's 
fort, as it is sometimes called, and in which he was captured. 

March 1st. Corp. Leanord J. Whiting transfered from Battery 
C, First Regiment Rhode Island Light Artillery. 

March 2d. Was to-day appointed sergeant, vice Sylvester G. 
Ide, reduced for breach of discipline. 

March 3d. Private William A. Dickerson promoted to corporal, 
vice Whiting promoted. 

March 8th. The first section under Lieutenant Perry, went up 
on Loudoun Heights for picket duty, while a squadron of cavalry 
was to make a reconnoissance in the direction of Snicker's Gap, 
and Leesburg. 

The bridge across the Shenandoah River, had been destroyed at 



62 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [March, 

the same time as the one across the Potomac, when the rebels with- 
drew from Harper's Ferry to Winchester, June 13, 1861. The 
means for crossing was by a canal flat-boat. A large rope was 
stretched from shore to shore, with a block and running tackle at 
each end of the boat attached to the rope. The rapid running current 
of the water was the power used, and when ready to move forward the 
crew that worked it would draw up the forward tackle close to the 
rope, and let the rear tackle out until the boat was about an angle of 
forty-five degrees with the rope. A push was given by those on 
shore and away it would go, the pressure of the current against the 
side of the boat would cause it to move slowly at the start, but 
would gradually increase in speed until the opposite shore was 
reached. To return, the opposite end of the boat was drawn up, 
the other let out, and the current did (he rest. In this way the 
section was ferried across the river. Then commenced a laborious 
task, the ascent up a road cut into the mountain side, which wound 
zi< T za<'' around to the top. The passage up was a hard one for both 
horses and men, twelve horses to a gun, the men ready with a large 
stone to block the wheels when a rest was made, which was quite 
often. When the top was reached it was on the opposite side from 
where they started. At the top a space of a few rods square, was 
clear of trees and bushes where a small fort had been built, but no 
troops in or around it. In this fort the guns were placed in posi- 
tion, which commanded the Loudoun valley. From this fort our 
guns could throw a shot five miles in any direction. From this 
place a magnificent view of the surrounding country could be ob- 
tained. To the south the Loudoun valley, on the west the renowned 
valley of the Shenandoah, to the north the valley of the upper 
Potomac river, to the east and below, the Maryland Heights with 
Frederick city in the distance. The view from these heights was 
magnificent beyond description, the grandest at sunrise. As the sun 
appeared above the Maryland Heights, its rays leaping from moun- 
tain top to mountain top, it had the appearance of a large golden 
flower, while the valley below lay dark and silent. The section did not 
stay here long, for the next afternoon, March 9th, it was ordered to 
return to camp at Bolivar, as the division had received orders to 
prepare for a move. 

Lieutenant Perry decided to attempt the descent down the moun- 
tain side, instead of the roundabout way by which they had ascended. 
So he ordered the wheels secured by the chain and prolonge (a rope 



1862.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 63 

used for dragging the gun when firing to the rear), and let them 
slide down, as the horses could not hold them back, even after the 
wheels were thus secured. The hubs were brought up against a tree, 
and then with a lever, the men would pry it off and it would slide to 
another tree ; in this manner they were let down the mountain side. 
It was a very difficult and dangerous undertaking, but a much 
shorter distance to the ferry than by the Toad. 

The only mishap that occurred was, while on the boat crossing the 
Shenandoah, when one of the men fell overboard and would have been 
lost but for the timely aid of a comrade standing near, who, 
by reaching over caught him by the hair as he was about to go 
under, and, with assistance, succeeded in pulling him on board 
again, — a more frightened man one never saw. The section 
arrived in camp at Bolivar Heights a little after dark, and found t lie 
battery prepared to move in the morning on a reconnaissance towards 
Winchester. 

March 10th. The battery left camp at nine a. m. passed 
through Halltown, three miles from Bolivar, and encamped at 
Charlestown, eight miles from Harper's Ferry, at four p. hi. Pleas- 
ant and warm. 

March 11th. The battery left Charlestown about eight a. m., 
Rickett's battery and a regiment of the United States Regulars with 
us. Passed through Berryville, turned to the right, and went into 
camp a little after four p. m. Remained here until the 13th. Left 
Berryville about nine a. m. for Winchester, went to within three 
miles of the village and halted in a field on the left of the road. 
Tarried here a short time, then received orders to return, arriving 
at Berryville about six p. m., and encamped in the same position 
that we had occupied on the 1 1th. 

March 14th. Cloudy and chilly. Left for Charlestown about 
nine a. m. On arriving there went into camp at the same place as 
on the night of the 1 0th. 

March loth left for Bolivar about eight a. m., arrived there about 
two p. M.,and went into camp at our old quarters, much to the grat- 
ification of the men, for all were wet through, as a cold rain-storm 
had set in that morning soon after we had started on the march. 

We are becoming accustomed to army life now, whether in camp 
or on the march. Since the battery left the camp at Poolesville, 
there has been a great deal of rainy weather, and we have marched 
nearly one hundred miles, and yet, after all, areonly about thirty-three 



64 history of battery b, [March, 

miles from our late winter quarters. In the foregoing movement the 
brigade to which the battery was attached was in reserve as a support 
to the main troops in advance. As the rebels did not make a stand, 
there was no battle, and the battery did not become engaged. 

The battery remained encamped at Bolivar Heights until March 
22d, when it was ordered to Washington with other troops of the 
division. At noon of the 22d, broke camp and started on our re- 
turn, passing through Bolivar, and Harper's Ferry taking the same 
route we did in February, recrossing the Potomac by the pontoon 
bridge to Sandy Hook. Here again the guns. were dismounted, and, 
with the ammunition chests, were put aboard the cars, the officers and 
cannoneers going with them by rail to Washington, where they arrived 
the next day at noon, were taken to the Soldiers' Retreat, and given 
a good dinner, to which all did ample justice. After their repast 
they returned to the cars, unloaded the guns and the ammunition 
chests, leaving them upon the platform at the station under guard. 
The men were then marched to Capitol Hill, where they went into 
camp on the night of the 23d. 

The sergeants, with the drivers and their horses, gun and caisson 
carriages, battery wagon, forge and baggage wagons, under the 
charge of Lieutenant Adams, marched from Sandy Hook to Catoctin 
Creek, near Berlin, and bivouacked for the night. On the morning 
of the 23d they resumed the march until four o'clock p. M., when 
they halted and encamped for the night by Ceneca Creek, a very 
small stream. On the morning of the 24th they again resumed 
the march onward, passing through Rockville and Georgetown, ar- 
riving in Washington late in the afternoon, and joined the rest of the 
battery at their camp on Capitol Hill. The First Rhode Island Cav- 
alry were encamped near by, and as they had just arrived in Washing- 
ton from Rhode Island, the men were asked many questions about 
Providence and friends. 

On the morning of March 25th Lieutenant Perry, with the drivers 
and cannoneers, gun and caisson carriages, went to the Baltimore 
and Ohio Railroad station, and, mounting the guns and ammunition 
chests, returned, to camp. 

March 26th. The following privates were promoted to corpo- 
rals, they having acted in that capacity for some time : William 
Hamilton, Anthony B. Horton, and William P. Wells. The vacan- 
cies were occasioned by a number of non-commissioned officers 
being in the hospital sick, who had been reduced to the ranks. 



1862.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 65 

March 27th. To-day the battery received marching orders. The 
equipments were packed and everything got in readiness to move at a 
moment's notice. In the afternoon eleven recruits arrived 
from Rhode Island: Thomas J. Barber, Hazard W. Burton, Joseph 
C. Burton, Erastus D. Briggs, Aborn W. Carter, John H. Clarke, 
William O. Clark, Harvey Pearce, William H. Pearce, Francis T. 
Priestly, and Jerome Weeks. 

At four o'clock p. M. the battery was hitched up and broke camp : 
left Capitol Hill and moved down by way of Pennsylvania avenue, 
marching through the city to Georgetown, down to the wharf by the 
Potomac, where the battery was parked, and remained all night 
under guard. The men were quartered in a vacant store at the head 
of the wharf, where we had a good night's rest. Rumor had it that 
we were going to the Peninsula, what one we knew not, although 
several places had been mentioned. But this much we did 
know, that to whatever place we were ordered we were going by 
water instead of land, as the division to which we were attached 
was embarking on transports from the wharf where our guns were 
parked. 

While the commander of the Army of the Potomac was prepar- 
ing his spring campaign of 1862, the soldiers were learning stern 
discipline, by constant drill, and frequent inspections in the art of war. 
These preparations conveyed to them a hint, as some of the men ex- 
pressed it, that " some one higher in power was punching them to 
punch us." But the frequent moves and long marches had changed 
the routine of camp life and duties, there was not so much pol- 
ishing and drill. But instead there was an unusual activity upon the 
Potomac, in front of the cities of Washington and Georgetown. 
Every description of water conveyance, from a canal flat-boat to a 
huge three-decked steamer, seemed to have been pressed into service, 
and loaded with soldiers, horses, rations, bales of hay and other 
munitions for the army, sailed majestically down the broad river. 

When the troops received marching orders, every one was busy 
preparing for a move, and also conjecturing as to our destination. 
The private soldier is not taken into the confidence of his superiors, 
but is usually left in ignorance as to his fate. But rumor, with 
her thousand tongues, is always speaking. So what the soldier lacks in 
information is usually made up in surmises and conjectures ; every 
hint is caught at, and worked out in all possible and impossible com- 
binations. He makes some shrewd guesses (the Yankee's birth- 



66 



HISTORY OF BATTERY B, 



[March, 



right) , hut he knows absolutely nothing of the part he is to perform 
in some great or little plan of the army to which he is attached. 
How the report is received or whence it comes he knows not, but it 
is rumored there is to be a move. 

The general opinion among the troops at that time was that at last 
a movement was in progress, and that they were on their way to 
make an end of the Confederacy. They gathered in squads upon 
the decks of the steamers. Here and there were card parties, others 
slept or dozed. But the majority were smoking and discussing the 
probabilities of their destination, about which they really knew 
nothing, except that they were sailing down the Potomac River. 




Private William F. Reynolds. 



' _ FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 67 



CHAPTER VII 



DEPARTURE FOR THE PENINSULA. AND SIEGE OF 
YORKTOWN. 



O 



N the 23th of March, the battery was dismounted aud put 
on board of the propeller Empire, also the battery wagon, 



After the officers and cannoneers had embarked the propeller moved 
out into the stream, headed down the river, leaving the drivers with 
their horses on the wharf, under the command of Lieut. George W. 
Adams. Here they remained all night as no boat came for them. 

Late in the forenoon of the next day a tug-boat with a schooner 
in tow, ran alongside of the wharf, and. after it bad been made fast 
to the dock, the work of getting the horses on board commenced. 
It was late in the afternoon before it was accomplished as there was 
some delay in getting transports enough to take the horses. After 
all had embarked, there was another delay ; when the tug-boats 
came to take us in tow, the captain on beiug informed that there was 
no captain on board one of the schooners, asked for the mate ; we 
told him he was up in the village looking for the captain. After 
waiting over an hour the captain of the tug-boat became impatient 
and would wait no longer. " "Well." said he, " captain or no 
captain, I am going to take the schooner to Alexandria, as ordered," 
and asked if there was anyone on board who would take the helm. 
He was told that one of our men was an old sailor and probably he 
would steer. "Where is he?" said the captain. On being ques- 
tioned, our man said: " Yes, I can steer, I'll take the helm." So 
our ex-sergeant was placed in charge of the wheel. The tug-boat, 
made fast to the schooner, pulled out from the wharf, and, taking 
the other schooner in tow, started down the Potomac. All 
went well until we were nearing Long Bridge. The tug-boat 
had entered the draw and was passing through when the captain 



68 history of battery b, [March, 

saw that the schooner was not following in line and headed right, so 
shouted to our helmsman, " Schooner, hard a port ! " "Aye, aye, 
sir ! " answered the helmsman, and around spun the wheel, the 
schooner swinging to the right. "Hard to port, there! Look 
lively ! " again shouted the captain of the tugboat. Nearer, and 
nearer the schooner was approaching the bridge. The captain be- 
came wild, throwing up his hands and shouting "Hard a — " the 
rest being lost, as there came a bump and a crash, the schooner 
striking the abutment of the draw on the starboard bow. Our 
helmsman was turning the wheel, first one way and then the other, 
as if bewildered. The schooner, after striking, crossed the open- 
ing. On the way through it struck the abutment of the bridge 
on the port bow, but kept on, amid flying timbers and splinters. 
The captain of the tug-boat, seeing that there was to be an acci- 
dent, had let his tow adrift, or the strain on the tow-line was so great 
that it parted. The tug-boat proceeded on its way down the river, 
the schooners following slowly, being kept in motion by the current, 
and sustaining no damage by the collision. Not so with the bridge, 
however, for the draw was thrown out of line, and part of one 
of the abutments carried away, so that the draw could not be closed 
to admit of passage over it. A general who was waiting, with his 
staff, on the Virginia side, to cross to Washington, was made wild 
by the accident, and imprecations loud and deep greeted us as we 
sailed by. The captain and mate of the schooner, who had pro- 
cured a boat, now overtook us, came on board, the. captain taking com- 
mand, the tug-boat returned, made fast, and taking us in tow again 
proceeded to Alexandria. Our sailor boy was relieved of the helm. 
He had shown his ability to steer, with a record that not many could 
boast — that of carrying away two ends of a draw-bridge at one time, 
and he never heard the last of "Hard to port" while he remained 
with the battery. 

While waiting at Alexandria, our hearts were gladdened by the 
sight of the Canonicus (a steamboat from Providence, R. I.) as 
she lay quietly on the bosom of the Potomac. It brought up pleas- 
ant visions of Rocky Point, Portsmouth Grove and Newport, only 
to give place, however, to the stern realities of war. 

Alexandria looks dilapidated, and the objects of interest are few. 
The Marshall House, where Colonel Ellsworth was shot, has noth- 
ing inviting in its external appearance, while its internal parts are 
disappearing by piecemeal, through the industry of relic gatherers. 



1862.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. G9 

Many private dwellings belonging to absentee Secessionists are 
closed or occupied as officers' quarters. The old church, built at an 
early date of imported brick, and in which Washington worshiped, 
occupies a somewhat retired spot, and is surrounded by a high fence. 
It is said that his pew, prayer-book, cushions, etc., remain as they 
were when he last attended services. This I cannot vouch for, not 
being permitted to investigate for myself. The large hotels were 
converted into general hospitals for the sick and wounded soldiers. 
The buildings along the water front near the wharf were occupied by 
troops waiting transportation. The Potomac, in front of and above 
Alexandria, is full of transports, yet not in sufficient number to em- 
bark the entire force. This caused some delay, and subjected those 
troops, who were deprived of camping accommodations, to temporary 
inconvenience, a " soldier's lot." 

On the morning of March 30th, about three A. M., we weighed 
anchor, and, with the schooners in tow, the propeller Putnam 
steamed down the Potomac. Without regret we turned our backs 
upon a city whose flour has a better reputation than its loyalty, and 
set our faces toward our future field of service. Passing Fort 
Washington on our left, we soon reached Mount Vernon, which is 
situated on the right bank of the river. The wise counsels of 
Washington in his farewell address were brought impressively to 
mind. Sadly has Virginia fallen from her first estate, and bitterly 
will she yet mourn the folly into which she was betrayed by unscru- 
pulous and ambitious leaders. 

The passage down the Potomac and Chesapeake Bay was not dis- 
tinguished by any extraordinary occurrence. The rebel batteries on 
the banks of the river and bay were silent, and we passed them 
without any sign of recognition. They were abandoned, and navi- 
gation of the river was once more free, resulting from the fact of 
the possession of Manassas by the Union forces. 

Just before entering Chesapeake Bay we came to anchor, the 
water, being rough, it caused the propeller to labor so hard, witli 
schooners in tow, that there was fear of her swamping. A snow 
squall struck us as we lay at anchor, then it commenced to rain and 
continued until midnight, when it cleared with a cold, raw wind 
blowing. By one o'clock a. m., it having calmed down sufficiently to 
venture out, we started on our way down the bay, passing Fortress 
Monroe, and came to anchor in Hampton Roads, a short distance 
from that renowned " Yankee cheese box," the Monitor. Looking 



70 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [April, 

up the river, the wreck of the battleship Congress could be seen off 
Newport News, also some smaller vessels nearer the shore, which 
had been destroyed by the rebel Merrimac. 

The writer and several others, with Lieut. George W. Adams, 
had the pleasure of visiting the Monitor and examining the indenta- 
tions caused by the shells of the Merrimac which struck her during 
the engagement. None of them was of a very serious nature, ex- 
cept the one which struck the pilot-house. The keel of this most 
famous vessel of modern times (Captain Ericsson's first iron-clad), 
was laid in the shipyard of Thomas F. Rowland, at Greenpoint, 
Brooklyn, N. Y., in October, 1861 ; and, on the 30th of January, 
1862, the novel craft was launched. On the 25th of February she 
was commissioned and turned over to the government, and nine days 
later left New York for Hampton Roads, where, on the 9th of 
March, 1862, occurred the memorable contest with the Merrimac. 
During her next venture on the open sea she foundered off Cape 
Hatteras in a gale of wind, Dec. 29, 1862. 

The transports with the battery on board lay at anchor in the 
Roads until the 2d of April, when those who were on the propeller 
Empire were landed at the wharf at Hampton, and Avent into camp 
a short distance up in the village to wait for the arrival of the rest of 
the battery. Three days' rations of salt beef were issued to the 
cooks, to be prepared for the men. 

Late in the afternoon of the 3d the schooners with the remainder 
of the battery were towed up to the wharf and unloaded. It was 
near midnight before it was all in camp, and the men, tired out, were 
glad to roll themselves up in their blankets to get half a night's rest. 
It was with wonder and amazement that we, as part of General Mc- 
Clellan's army, arrived at Old Point Comfort and gazed upon Fort- 
ress Monroe, huge and frowning, and saw the destruction caused by 
the rebel Merrimac in and around Hampton Roads. When we 
landed, ami pitched our tents amid the charred and blackened 
ruins of the once beautiful village of Hampton, we were reminded 
that this town until the breaking out of the Rebellion was a fashion- 
able summer resort, but was now a heap of ruins ; and the numerous 
stacks of chimneys stand like so many monuments of Secesh vandal- 
ism, by whose hand the place was fired. 

Here Hon. John Tyler, the "Accidental President," had a resi- 
dence, to which he gave the romantic name of " Marjraritta 
Cottage." But the place has less attractions to an eye for the 



1862.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 71 

picturesque than the name would imply, and a writer, with as much 
truth as sarcasm has said, "A summer in this site would make any 
man a bore." One thing we noticed as we viewed the ruins, un- 
accustomed as we were to southern architecture, was the fact that 
only three of the houses had been provided with cellars. 

The only building left standing was the massive old Episcopal 
church. Here Washington had worshiped, and its aisles had echoed 
to the footsteps of armed men during the Revolution. In the church- 
yard tombs had been broken open, tombstones overthrown, and at 
the corner of the church a big hole had been dug, which showed 
that some one, with a greater desire for possessing curiosities than 
reverence for ancient landmarks, had been digging for the corner- 
stone and its buried mementos. 

Along the shore, which trends toward Fortress Monroe were 
landed artillery, baggage-wagons, pontoon trains and boats, piles of 
boxes, barrels of rations, hay and grain. The level land in the 
rear was covered with the tents of the army. Here and there were 
groups of men frying hard-tack and bacon. Near at hand was the 
irrepressible army mule, hitched to and eating out of pontoon boats. 
Those which had eaten their rations of hay and grain were trying 
their teeth, with promise of success, in gnawing the woodwork of 
the boats. An army mule is more voracious than a soldier, and 
will eat anything, not excepting a pontoon or rubber blanket. 
The red caps, white leggins, and baggy trousers of the Zouaves 
mingled with the blue uniforms and dark trimmings of the infantry- 
men, the short jackets and yellow trimmings of the cavalry, and 
the red stripes of the artillery, together with the ragged and many 
colored costumes of the white and black teamsters, all busy in 
preparations for an onward move of the Army of the Potomac, 
made the scene an enlivening one. 

The morning we broke camp and went marching up the Penin- 
sula, the roads were very muddy and nearly impassable in conse- 
quence of recent rains, and were crowded with the indescribable 
material of the vast army which was slowly wending its way 
through the mud and wooded country. It was a bright April day — 
a perfect Virginia day, — the buds of the trees were just unfolding 
into leaves under the warm sunshine of spring ; a number of peach 
trees were in full bloom ; the green grass was shooting forth (not 
beneath our feet as I was about to say, for they are in the mud) , but 
in the meadows. The march was at first orderly, but under the 



72 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [April, 

burden of heavy equipments and knapsacks, and warmth of the 
weather, the men straggled along the roads, mingling with artillery, 
baggage wagons, ambulances, pontoon-trains and ration wagons, in 
seeming confusion. 

On the 4th of April, Battery B, with General Sedgwick's divi- 
sion of the Second Corps, left Hampton about eight a. m., marched 
until five o'clock, and encamped near Little Bethel. Here shelter 
tents were issued. Previous to this time we had used our rubber 
blankets for tents. Each man was provided with an oblong piece 
of thick, unbleached cotton cloth, about six feet long, and two- 
thirds as wide, bordered all around with buttous and button- 
holes alternately, matching respectively the button-holes and buttons 
of his comrade's piece. A shelter or dog tent is like a bargain, it 
takes two to make it. To set it up, two crotched stakes, each about 
four feet long, pointed at one end, are driven into the ground about 
six feet apart. A slender pole is then placed horizontally from one 
crotch to the other. Then the two pieces of tents are buttoned 
together, and the buttoned edges placed on the pole, drawing out the 
other edges tightly and pinning them down to the ground, by means 
of little loops fastened into them. This formed a wedge-shaped 
structure, simply the two slopes of an ordinary roof, about three 
and a half feet high and open at both ends. This accommodated 
two men, and in warm, pleasant weather was all that was required. 
In stormy weather a third man was admitted, when a piece of 
small rope about four feet long was tied to the top of one of the 
stakes and stretched out in line in the direction of the ridge-pole, 
the free end being brought down to the ground about eighteen 
or twenty inches from the stake and pinned there. The third 
man then buttoned his piece to one edge of the slope, carrying 
the other edge of his piece out over the tightened rope to the 
edge of the other slope, to which it was buttoned. Tims an ex- 
tension to the tent was made in which knapsacks were stored, 
leaving the rest of the space clear for sleeping purposes. This is 
large enough to accommodate three men lying side by side. But 
will such a structure keep out rain? Certainly, just as your um- 
brella does, unless you rub it on the inside when it is soaked. If 
you do, the water will come in, drop by drop just where you rub it. 
To keep the water from running in along the surface of the ground, 
di°- a small trench about three inches deep all around the tent, close 
up, so that the water shed from the roof will fall into it. For three- 



1862.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 7o 

fourths of the year it is all the shelter needed, as it keeps out rain, 
snow, and wind, perfectly, being penetrable only by the cold. 

We left camp on the morning of the 5th, at seven o'clock over 
the New Bridge road. I should have called it " muddy road," by 
its appearance, if I had not been informed differently. As we 
marched along we were sprinkled by the frequent showers that fell 
upon us, which caused our knapsacks and blankets to become no 
lighter. We passed lines of rebel intrenchments in front of a small 
hamlet of about half a dozen houses, called Little Bethel. Still ad- 
vancing another line of earthworks was passed, where we en- 
countered what the natives (the negroes) called "a right smart 
shower." This did not improve the roads. On we trudged passing 
the remains of several houses scattered over an area of a third of a 
mile. These constituted what was called the village of Big Bethel. 

Just west of the village was an insignificant building (the only 
one left standing) from which the hamlet takes its name. Why the 
prefix " Big " was used none of us could understand, as it did not 
seem large enough or of sufficient consequence to be given a name. 
But this was a church called the " Big Bethel." Before the arrival of 
our troops it had evidently been occupied as officers barracks of the 
enemy. Here the surroundings, the roads, the village, the trees, 
earth works, and rifle-pits, gave evidence of the battle which was 
here fought on June 10, 1861, between Colonel Hill's brigade of 
General Magruder's rebel forces, and General Peirces's brigade of 
Gen. Benjamin Butler's (Union troops). In which the latter were 
defeated with a loss of fourteen men. 

On trudged the troops through mud and water, until six p. M., 
when General Sedgwick's division halted and was ordered to camp 
at Cockletown. The battery moved to the right of the road on 
high ground, parked, and encamped. We were about seven miles 
from Yorktown. Here we remained until the 13th. As the wag- 
ons with rations and forage could not be brought up on account of 
the troops moving to the front and using the roads in preference to 
army wagons, our supplies became nearly exhausted. In order to 
obtain them the drivers with their horses, under command of a lieu- 
tenant, with the quartermaster-sergeant, made frequent trips to Ship 
Point on the Poquosin River. 

On the afternoon of April o, 1862, the advance of our column 
was brought to a standstill at Yorktown. Here General McClellau 
found the enemy in force and occupying the fortifications extending 



74 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [April, 

to Lee's Mills on the Warwick Creek. This forced him to halt and 
prepare to give battle, his right of line being at Yorktown. As fast 
as the troops arrived he extended his line to the left toward 
Lee's Mills. One of the impediments to an immediate attack on 
the enemy was the difficulty of using light artillery in the muddy 
fields in front. At that time the knowledge of the country ahead 
was but little understood, and had to be learned by reconnaissances 
in force. The siege of Yorktown was now begun by bridging the 
streams, constructing and improving the roads for rapid transit of 
supplies and for the advancement of troops. The first line of fortifica- 
tions was made about a mile from and parallel with the enemy's 
line, which reached from the York River to Warwick Creek, a dis- 
tance of about four miles in length. Fourteen batteries and three 
redoubts were planted, armed with heavy ordnance. Number one 
battery was at the right of the line, not far from the York River. 
While the troops of General Sedgwick's division were advancing to 
the front and being assigned positions in line, the battery lay at 
Cockletown awaiting orders ; and, as the roads were almost impassa- 
ble for heavy laden forage wagons, we were ordered to dismount 
the ammunition chests of the caissons, and the drivers, with horses 
and the caisson carriages, under command of Lieutenant Perry with 
the quartermaster-sergeant, went to Ship Point for rations and for- 
age. The men of the battery that made these trips will always 
remember them. It was a journey of only four miles, but it took 
about eleven hours of hard tramping to go and return. No country 
equals a Virginia road for mud after a rain. A short distance from 
camp we struck it thick, from ankle to knee-deep. First the off' 
horse would get into a hole, and as soon as he was out (and some 
times before) the nigh horse would be in the same predicament. 
Then the caisson wheels would follow, going down with a splash to 
the hub. Verily, this was what should have been called k ' heavy 
marching" instead of " light marching " order. The foot sank in- 

o © © 

sidiously into the mud, and came out reluctantly. The noise of 
walking was like that of a suction-pump when the water is ex- 
hausted. We finally arrived at our journey's end, and, after a rest 
of an hour, loaded the carriages with forage and started on our re- 
turn to camp. It seemed as if the holes were more numerous than 
when we came. After a hard tramp we arrived, tired, cross, and 
ugly. After we had scraped off enough of the mud to recognize our 
feet, we dried our clothes by the fire while getting suppper. And 



1862.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 75 

such a supper, — hard-tack and coffee, — but didn't it go good, what 
sauce ever equaled that of hunger? Then, how we slept! Feet 
wet, boots for a pillow, the mud oozing up and around our rubber 
blankets made a soft bed withal, and we slept the sleep of tired men. 

Two such trips were made with the caisson carriages, but the road 
from constant travelling made such deep gullies and holes that it was 
almost impassable for teams. The drivers were ordered to put the 
valise saddles on their off horses without the rest of the harness, 
which was to be used as pack saddles for carrying forage, and pro- 
ceeded to the Point. All went well while going. Each driver rode 
his nigh horse and leading the other. In this way the trip was 
made much quicker than with the caisson carriages. The fun com- 
menced on the return trip. The first mile was made quite well, 
but the constant lurching of the loads on the saddles as the horses 
stumbled into the mud-holes and gullies, loosened them and some 
went off the saddles into the mud, which caused the driver to 
dismount, and invariably wade aroitnd in the mud nearly knee- 
deep, calling forth all manner of remarks, and resulting in the use 
of imprecations which were anything but mild. But that would not 
replace the load. Finally it was fastened on, the driver would re- 
mount, and, proceeding but a few rods, the same operation would 
again be repeated. There was one driver whose saddle with the 
load turned completely round under the horse several times during 
the trip, it being almost impossible to keep the saddle in the 
proper place upon the back of the horse, and a madder man never 
was seen. We wore blue pants when we started on these trips, but 
when we returned to camp they were terra-cotta, and something 
less than a hundred pounds weight. 

On the 11th of April an incident occurred which for a moment 
excited amusement, but soon assumed too serious an aspect to be 
classed with jokes. A huge balloon had been making daily trips 
skyward from General Porter's headquarters for the purpose of ob- 
taining knowledge of the enemy's movements. At an elevation of 
several hundred feet, as the occupant was preparing for the usual 
observation, the guys, by which the balloon was held, parted, and 
the gaseous vehicle sailed away before the wind towards the enemy's 
lines. The first impulse was to laugh, as is ordinarily the case 
shown an unfortunate, but the next was to shout " Open the valve." 
But the occupant had too little respect for the Secesh to drop him- 
self in the midst of their encampments, which he would have done 



76 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [April, 

had he acted upon such advice. On reaching an upper current the 
wind swept the balloon back over our lines, when it was seen to 
descend with a velocity that nothing but the exigencies of the case 
would have justified, and landed near our camp. Fortunately no 
one was injured, and still more fortunate was it that the upper cur- 
rent did not carry the occupant off to the capital of Virginia rebel- 
dom. That he obtained valuable information during his aerial 
voyage is probable, but it is doubtful if he cared to increase his 
knowledge again at a similar risk. The occupant of the balloon 
was G-eneral Porter. The ascensions had generally been made un- 
der the supervision of Captain Allen (a Rhode Islander). It was 
said that Allen was absent at the time the balloon broke away, and 
General Porter was alone. 

April 12th. The battery received one recruit from Rhode Island, 
Henry J. Barber. 

On the 13th, battery received marching orders, and left Cockle- 
town and moved up to within one mile from the fortifications at 
Yorktown, and parked in an opening in the woods, where we made 
a comfortable camp, in which the headquarters of the battery re- 
mained while the siege lasted, although the gun sections were often 
sent to the front to assist in some movement or to perform picket 
duty ; orders to hitch up and then unhitch were of almost daily 
occurrence, caused mostly by false alarms. 

At sunrise on the morning of the 16th the battery received orders 
to hitch up double-quick, which order was duly obeyed. But it was 
nearly seven o'clock before we were called upon, and were then or- 
dered to the front. The right and centre sections, under Lieuten- 
ants Perry and Bloodgood with Captain Bartlett, were ordered to 
the left and front. The left section (the howitzers), under Lieuten- 
ant Adams, was ordered to the right and front. The right and cen- 
tre sections, going to the left about a mile to within three-quarters 
of a mile of the enemy's line, halted at the edge of a strip of woods. 
Here the centre section remained while the right proceeded through 
the woods to within nine hundred yards of the enemy's line. On 
taking position they immediately opened fire on a fort iu their front. 
Our fire was soon answered by the rebels in the fort sending a 
few shells over our heads in among the tree tops, much to the dis- 
comfort of the lookouts stationed there. The centre section soon 
joined the right, taking position on the left. The two sections now 
opened a well directed fire on the fort with solid shot and some 



1862.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 77 

shells, which the enemy answered seemingly with wild confusion, 
for their shot and shells, much to our satisfaction, went over our 
heads into the woods. 

During this encasement the gunners and cannoneers showed jjreat 
skill and good judgment in handling and sighting the guns, 
for about every shot told, and a number of our shells exploded 
within the fort. At one time just as the enemy were in the act of 
running their gun out to fire upon us, two of our shots entered the 
embrasure at the same time, striking the gun ; one exploded, it 
being a shell, the gun was dismounted, and there were no more shots 
fired from that embrasure during the remainder of that day. At 
dusk Captain Bartlett withdrew the centre section, and it returned 
to camp, leaving the right on picket. The proficiency of the 
batterymen in handling the guns was due and acquired by the 
long practice while on picket duty on the upper Potomac river 
and Monocacy aqueduct, in shelling the enemy while they were 
building fortifications along the river on the Virginia side in the 
fall and winter of 1861 and 1862. 

We will now return to the left section, Lieutenant Adams with 
his howitzers, and an aide of Colonel Tompkins as guide, moved 
down to the right in front of the meadows in the low land at the 
left of the fort. Our lines were in the edge of the woods. The 
section was placed in position in the infantry intrenchments with 
the One Hundred and Sixth Pennsylvania Regiment. AVhen the 
firing commenced on the right, the enemy's reserve line of pickets 
was seen advancing in our front, upon which Lieutenant Adams 
gave orders to direct our fire. The enemy's pickets were shelled 
quite lively for some moments when they were seen to retreat to 
the rear of the fort, and we slackened fire, which was only kept 
up at intervals. During this time, strange to say, we did not re- 
ceive a shot from the fort. But there came several shells from 
far off to the left, which went to our right into the woods, crashing 
among the trees. At nine o'clock Lieutenant Adams received 
orders to withdraw from the picket line, and he returned to camp 
with his howitzers, none of the men nor horses were injured. 

It was a current report, at the time this attack on the rebels 
was decided upon, that Colonel Tompkins, chief of artillery of the 
Second Corps, intended to send Battery A, First Regiment Rhode 
Island Light Artillery (Colonel Tompkins's brother was then captain 
of that battery), to open the engagement. But it is said that Gen- 



78 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [April, 

eral Sedgwick, gave orders to send out Bartlett's battery (Battery 
B, First Regiment Rhode Island Light Artiilery), and said : " We'll 
see if they can fight as well as clean out peddlers." At seven o'clock 
the battery left camp, with the two sections of ten-pounder Parrotts 
under command of their chief, preceded by Captain Bartlett, and 
an aide of Colonel Tompkins as guide, moved down on the left to 
a strip of woods, and leaving one section, the right, moved slowly 
forward through the woods by a cart-path. The men were ordered 
to keep as as silent as possible, and no orders to be given above a 
whisper. The woods being quite free of under brush and dead 
limbs no noise was made in reaching the position assigned them. 
The cannoneers marched silently beside their pieces, realizing the 
perilous work about to be undertaken, but appreciating, however, the 
honor conferred upon Battery B, in being chosen to fire the first 
shot. When within a dozen yards of the outer edge of the woods 
the section was halted and unlimbered at the outlying picket line. 
The guns on being placed in battery, orders were silently given 
to prepare for action. 

Through the openings among the trees in front could be seen a 
clearing of considerable extent, on the far side of which loomed up 
the rebel fortifications. Directly in our front was a fort, in whose 
embrasures slumbered the frowning dogs of war. It was now a 
most exciting moment, for the two guns were loaded, and Battery 
B was about to knock at the door of the enemy. Would they be at 
home to receive company, and what would the reception be? Lieu- 
tenant Perry sighted the first piece. A number of officers were 
standing to the right and rear to see the opening shot fired. The 
stillness of the hour was now broken by Lieutenant Perry's order, 
" First piece, ready ! " Number four (Stillman H. Budlong), quickly 
inserted the primer and attached the lanyard, and then stood wait- 
ing, and at the order " Fire," swung his right arm down behind 
him, at the same time swaying his body to the left ; the lanyard 
jumped from the gun, there was a flash, a deafening roar, the gun 
recoiling backwards, and away flew the shell on its aerial flight, 
bursting over the enemy's fortifications. Down went their sentinel 
from the parapet. Their reply indicated that they were at home, as 
from one of their embrasures rose a cloud of smoke and an angiw 
roll. Their shot went to the left in the tree-tops, and exploded in 
the rear of the limbers. This was quickly followed by another vol- 
ley which fell short, and, landing among some fence rails, exploded, 



18G2.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 79 

and sent them flying end over end in all directions. After observing 
the effect of the first shell, the second piece was fired, which hit the 
top of the parapet, sending up a cloud of dust. The section kept up 
a lively fire for some moments, then continued firing at intervals. 
The enemy, however, made it so warm for us that we changed our 
position three times to get out of range of their fire. 

Our opening shot was followed by others from the batteries which 
were placed in the edge of the woods. They shelled the enemy's 
line vigorously; after which the Vermont brigade, under Gen. J. R. 
Brooks, of the Fourth Corps, made a splendid charge in an attempt 
to capture their works, but failed, not through lack of courage, but 
from want of support and the overwhelming number of the enemy. 
The intention of this assault was to gain possession, if possible, of 
the Warwick Court House and Williamsburg road, thus cutting off 
Yorktown from the support of the Confederates. 

The right section, under Lieuteuant Perry, remained on duty at 
the picket line until the evening of the 17th, when it was relieved 
and returned to camp ; Battery G, First Regiment Rhode Island 
Light Artillery taking their place. 

At one o'clock on the morning of the 18th the battery was hitched 
up and remained so until daylight, expecting to be called upon at 
any moment, as there was sharp musketry firing at the front all 
night, with some cannonading. 

At seven o'clock Lieutenant Adams, with the left section of how- 
itzers, was again ordered out to the picket line on the right and took 
position in the redoubts between the First Minnesota and Fifteenth 
Massachusetts Regiments, within 500 yards of the enemy's line. 
While here tlie men were constantly under the fire of the rebels' 
sharpshooters. Three nights in succession the enemy tried to stam- 
pede us, and one night three rebel regiments came out at eleven 
o'clock, and for ten minutes the woods were one living blaze of mus- 
ketry fire, mingled with the roar of our howitzers and the angry 
growl of the twenty-pounder Parrott on the left. The Fifteenth 
Massachusetts was on our right, the First Minnesota on our left. 
Our orders were, not to fire until the enemy came up to within one 
hundred yards, and, like old soldiers, our men stood waiting, show- 
ing great nerve and determination on their part. At the word fire the 
enemy received a leaden welcome ; the bullets fairly stripped the 
woods, and each time the enemy retired with considerable loss. Day 
and night their shot and shell fell around us, but not one of the men 



80 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [April, 

or horses in the battery was hit. This was miraculous, as a num- 
ber of the infantry supporting our guns were killed or wounded. 
During the time in which the battery did picket duty every round of 
ammunition (except canister) had been used, making it necessary 
for the supply wagon to replenish us three times. 

The rebels having taken quite a dislike to the twenty-pounder Par- 
rottgun on our left, determined to gain possession of it on the night of 
the 19th and stop its insolence. They " plotted brave schemes," but 
were doomed to disappointment. War sharpens the wits, and, antici- 
pating some such movement, General Sedgwick ordered an entire 
brigade of his troops to be stationed ready to receive them. Lying 
flat upon the ground in the form of a V, with the coveted gun in the 
centre (thus -P> ), our troops waited the arrival of their expected 
visitors. They had not long to wait, for, under cover of the dark 
ni°-ht, they came just before eleven o'clock, and were allowed 
to approach within speaking distance of our guns, when the order 
was given to open fire upon them. Our men rose and gave them a 
leaden welcome, for which they were not grateful, and from which 
they retired iu confusion, with " curses not loud but deep." It is 
not on record how the enemy liked the reception they received in 
endeavoring to become better acquainted with that gun. 

On the 28th we were made happy by the appearance of the pay- 
master, and the battery was paid for the months of January and 
February, 1862. It was a welcome surprise, as his coming had not 
been anticipated.- 

There had been heavy rains for a week previous, rendering active 
operations less agreeable, though the military work had gone stead- 
ily on. Deserters were frequently coming into our lines. They 
were Irishmen, bringing reports of disaffection among their country- 
men in the rebel army. 

On the 29th, Governor Sprague visited our camp, joining the 
headquarters of General McClellan's army on the staff of General 
Barry, chief of artillery. He came to look after the Rhode Island 
troops, and, by the invitation and request of the secretary of war, 
connected himself with the movements of the army until the latter 
part of May. With the governor was Maj. William Monroe, the 
allotment commissioner from Rhode Island, an officer who was en- 
trusted with the funds of our men that he might safely remit them to 
our families or friends. Quite a number of the battery availed 
themselves of this opportunity. 



1862.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 81 

This was a red letter day in camp. In the afternoon our 
welcome post courier brought us a generous supply of letters 
and papers that had been accumulating at Washington, detained 
there awaiting transportation to the army in the field. How eagerly 
were seals broken and contents devoured? can easily be imagined by 
one who has long been separated from loved ones and home. 

When General McClellan's army was brought to a standstill by 
the fortifications in front of Yorktown, which extended along the 
Warwick River to Lee's Mills, the approaches to the town and the 
passages of the river were covered by strong batteries and earth- 
works, General McCIellan deemed it necessary to resort to siege 
operations before a general assault was made. 

General Heintzelman, with the Third Corps, held the right of the 
line confronting Yorktown ; General Keyes, with the Fourth Corps, 
held the left along the Warwick River, while the Second Division 
(General Sedgwick's the one present) of the Second Corps, occupied 
the centre, in the vicinity of Wynn's Mills. 

During the siege the two sections with the two ten-pounder Par- 
rotts of Battery B while on picket duty were stationed in what was 
called Battery No. 8. The howitzers were placed in the redoubts of 
the outlying pickets of the First Brigade, Second Corps. We expended 
over a thousand rounds of ammunition on the enemy's works. Al- 
though our opponents threw a shower of shot and shell at our lines 
when occupying the fortifications, the battery escaped unharmed. 
Not so the enemy, for it was known that by our shots one of their 
guns was disabled and dismounted. 

Saturday, May 3d. The battery, for the first time since the 15th 
of April, was all together in camp. Three days' extra rations were 
cooked and issued, and it was rumored that there was soon to be a 
general assault on the enemy's line. In the evening very heavy 
cannonading was heard in the direction of Yorktown ; all was quiet 
in our front. Early on the morning of the 4th the battery was 
aroused from slumber and ordered to harness and hitch up immedi- 
ately. There were many speculations as to the meaning of this 
hurried order. The rebels had kept up a brisk fire from their heavy 
guns in front of Yorktown all night, which had been answered by 
the guns from our batteries. A bright light, which could be seen 
within the enemy's line, illuminated the clouds above, and the men 
were rejoicing in the belief that the shells had set fire to some part 
of the rebels' quarters or town. On our side the preparations for 

6 



82 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [May, 

a general assault were about complete, and the firing yesterday- 
was to test the siege batteries along our lines. During the early 
hours this morning several shots were fired from the rebel works, 
in our front, then all was quiet. At daylight it was reported that 
the rebels were about to abandon their works, and upon investi- 
gation it was quickly learned that they were not only preparing to 
evacuate, but had actually done so and our cavalry and horse 
artillery had been sent in pursuit to harass their retreat. 

May oth. The battery left the camp (which has been its head- 
quarters since April 13th) about seven a. m. It began to rain as 
we started. Passing our lines, we moved into the first line of the 
enemy's earthworks, that we had been shelling, then through the 
second line and to the fort, where we dismounted one of their guns, 
and saw in the embrasures Quaker or dummy guns ; this explained 
the reason of our not receiving any reply to our fire during the siege. 
We halted on a level plain in the rear of the fort and waited all day. 
As we were preparing supper (making coffee) we received orders 
to move immediately. The water for coffee was thrown away, 
everything packed, battery hitched up, and we started in just fifteen 
minutes after receiving the command. We went but a very short 
distance when we halted, and there we remained, waiting until morn- 
ing. But we had our coffee just the same, notwithstanding that it 
rained most of the time. 

It was a surprise to the entire army, as they marched through this 
stronghold, that the rebel commander (General Magruder) should 
have retreated from this line of defenses to fall back to Williams- 
burg. The fortifications, as to strength, were all that engineering 
skill and labor of a large working force could make them. The 
ditches were unusually broad and deep, the embankments ten to 
twelve feet thick, and the embrasures thoroughly constructed of 
sand-bags, sods or gabions. 

In iheir haste to evacuate the rebels left large quantities of pork, 
flour, and other supplies, scattered about over the ground. Tents 
were left standing with their interior fixtures untouched, and, in 
private houses occupied by officers, books, papers, correspondence, 
and other personal effects. It is said that among some letters which 
were left, was one addressed to General McClellan, making a lame 
attempt at witticism. It read thus : 



1802.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 83 

General McClellan: 

You will be surprised to hear of our departure at this stage of the 
game, leaving you in possession of this worthless town; but the fact is, 
McClellan, we have other engagements to attend to, and we can't wait 
any longer. Our boys are getting sick of this damned place, and the 
hospital likewise; so, good-bye for a little while. 

Adjutant Tekry, C. S. A. 

The possession of Yorktown added fifty-one guns, and a mortar 
left in position, to our ordnance stores, besides a large quantity of 
military appliances. A number of the guns were thirty-two and 
forty-two pounders, and one ten-inch columbiad. In abandoning 
their works, it is said, the rebels left behind them abundant evidence 
of their vindictiveness. They buried in the ground, hid in barrels 
and boxes, and laid around elsewhere, a large number of infernal 
machines in the shape of torpedoes and bombs. 

Yorktown contained between fifty and sixty houses situated along 
the river front. The town was well fortified, — who has not heard 
of the Quaker guns at Manassas? The same were found here. 
Logs could be seen in numbers, mounted on old wheels at the em- 
brasures of the fortifications. But these were not the most formid- 
able objects encountered within these fortifications, for after passing 
through our lines and entering those of the enemy, we encountered 
one of their most powerful allies — mud. It seemed in constant 
league with them, an efficient and defensive warfare, and took the 
military valor all out of a man. The soldiers declared that though 
Virginia was once in the Union, she was now in the mud. One 
would think, from reading the Northern newspapers, that we had 
macadamized roads over which to charge the enemy. The follow- 
ing well-known expression was proverbial among the stay-at-homes : 
" Why doesn't the army move? " It would have been most pleasing 
to have seen those, who supported us at so safe a distance in the rear, 
at the cry of "On to Richmond," plod over a five-mile course in 
this Virginia mud, loaded with a twenty or forty-pound knapsack, 
and a haversack filled with three or four days' rations. Without 
exaggeration, Virginia mud has never received full credit for the 
immense help it afforded the rebels during the war. It has never 
been fully comprehended, and, in order to do so, one must march in 
it, sleep in it, and be encompassed round-about by it. Great is 
mud ! — Virginia mud. 



84 



HISTORY. OF BATTERY B, 



[May, 



On May 6th, the sun rose clear and bright. At noon the artillery 
trains were put in motion, and the battery moved on, passing the 
river line of fortifications and, entering Yorktown, proceeded to the 
outskirts, went into park, and awaited orders. Along the line of 
march we passed several places where a barrel or box was marked 
" Danger ! " These places were shunned by the troops, as they sup- 
posed torpedoes were buried there, it having been reported that a 
number of the men had been killed or wounded in searching for 
these concealed missiles in order to mark their location or remove 
them. We received word to-day that the Third Corps and General 
Stoneman's cavalry had had a smart engagement with the rebels at 
Williamsburg, and the enemy is still retreating, General Sum- 
ner being in command of the Union troops. The infantry of the 
Second Corps was sent up in support, but was not in the fight ; 
they were ordered to return, take transports, and advance up the 
York River. 




Private Clark L. Woodmansee. 



1862.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 85 



CHAPTER VIII. 



MARCH UP THE PENINSULA — BATTLES OF FAIR 
OAKS AND SEVEN PINES. 

ON the return of the infantry of the Second Corps from 
Williamsburg they were embarked on board of transports 
and conveyed up the York river to West Point. It was 
not until nine o'clock on the evening of the 6th, that the Battery 
received orders to pack up and move down to the wharf in front of 
the town, and began loading the guns, caissons, and wagons upon 
a steamer. It was two o'clock in the morning before all was put 
on board, and the men were pretty well fagged out, as this was the 
second night in succession they passed without sleep ; and when 
ordered on board the steamer were glad to lie down anywhere 
to rest. The steamer moved out into the stream and laid at anchor 
all day of the 7th, while Lieutenant Adams with the drivers and 
horses waited near the wharf for transports. It was not until late 
in the afternoon of the 8th that they were embarked on board of 
schooners, and towed up the river a short distance, where thev 
were anchored, and remained all that night. 

At daylight on the morning of the 9th, the steamer on which the 
officers, men and battery had embarked, was run up alongside of the 
schooners, having the horses on board and taking them in tow sailed 
up the York river. We passed several of the enemy's fortifications, 
situated along the river bank, now deserted. At five p. m. we 
dropped anchor in front of West Point, the place where the British 
capitulated to the American troops in 1781, and now, 1862, is 
occupied by the Federal army. The town lies at the junction of the 
Mattapony and Pamunky Rivers. These two uniting to form the 
York River. Vessels of every description lie here at anchor waiting 
to be unloaded. It was sunset before we commenced to unload the 
battery from the steamer and we worked until ten o'clock, when we 



86 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [May, 

were ordered to bivouac on the south bank of the Pamunky, to 
wait until the schooners with the horses were towed up to the wharf, 
which was not until ten o'clock a. m., of the 10th, when the unload- 
ing was completed and guns mounted, the battery was ordered to 
park near the bank of the river and await orders. 

May 11th. The battery with the First Division marched to 
Eltham, about three miles from the landing, and w r ent into camp. 
The men rejoiced to step on land once more after being so cramped 
for room on ship-board ; being true landsmen and not sailors the 
forecastle had no attraction for them, the tents being more preferable. 
On the 12th, Sergt. John E. "Ward low was promoted by Captain 
Bartlett, to first sergeant, vice George W. Blair reduced to line 
sergeant for breach of discipline. 

May 13th. The batteries of the division were inspected and 
ordered to be in readiness to move the next day. 

May 15th. The battery left Eltham at nine A. M., marching all 
day in the mud and rain, making frequent stops to let troops pass. 
On arriving at Austin's Meeting-house, the battery went into camp 
in the woods opposite. 

May 16th. Lieutenant Adams, with the drivers and their horses, 
went back to the wagon train, and returned with grain and rations. 
Sunday, May 18th, instead of attendiug Divine service, we were 
ordered on the march. Left Austin's Meeting-house about eight 
a. m., warm and pleasant. Passed through New Kent Court House 
going about two miles and then encamping in an open field. A 
short distance from camp was a clear running stream of water, 
which the men enjoyed and made use of in bathing and in washing 
their clothes. The horses were not forgotten, but were taken to 
water, soon after we encamped ; eagerly they entered the stream, and 
it was hard w r ork to hold them back ; some did plunge in and laid 
down to roll with their drivers on their backs. 

May 19th. Lieutenant Perry, with the drivers and their horses, 
and Quartermaster-sergeant Dyer with the two army wagons and 
drivers went to Cumberland Landing, and returned with forage and 
rations. Cumberland Landing is a little hamlet on the Pamunky 
River ; by water it is nearly twenty-one miles, by land a little over 
ten from West Point. It now, for the first time, becomes an his- 
toric spot, as a depot of supplies for the Army of the Potomac, 
and the place where General McClellan temporarily established his 
headquarters. 



1862.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 87 

May 20th. The cannoneers were set to work, cleaning the mud 
from gun and caisson carriages ; the drivers attending to the har- 
nesses. Once more the battery presents a respectable appearance. 

May 21st. The battery broke camp at six a.m. "On to 
Richmond " once more. The roads were very good ; the best we 
had traveled since landing on the Peninsula. Marched all day and 
halted on a knoll in a wheat field ; finding for the first time a place 
somewhat hilly. Went into camp within two miles of Bottom 
Bridge, which crosses the Chickahominy River. 

May 22d. Remained in camp and had an inspection of the 
battery. In the afternoon, a heavy thunder storm followed by 
hail, invaded our camp. Fortunately it was of short duration some 
of the hail-stones were an inch in diameter, and as they struck the 
horses' backs, would cause them to flinch, crouch, then shake 
themselves, and start to run ; some did get away, and a lively time 
the drivers had in catching them. 

May 23d. Started on the march at seven a. M.,up the north 
bank of the Chickahominy, crossed the Richmond and York River 
Railroad near Dispatch Station, passing St. James's Church and 
Tyler's House. Marched all day with frequent halts, and went into 
camp at six p. m., near Cold Harbor, about six miles from the rail- 
road, and about twelve miles from Richmond. 

May 24th and 25th, battery remained in camp. Quartermaster- 
sergeant Dyer with the wagons went back to the railroad for forage 
and rations. 

May 26th. The battery left Cold Harbor about seven a. m. 
Marched south toward the Chickahominy. The bridge not being 
quite ready for crossing, we were ordered back to camp. In the 
afternoon we received light marching orders, the battery was hitched 
up, but did not move. 

On the morning of the 27th, the battery (guns and caissons), left 
camp at seven o'clock to join General Sedgwick's Division, which 
had been sent up to the right to the support of the Fifth Corps, it, 
the corps, having met the enemy in force along their line. As the 
battery proceeded, heavy firing was heard, and the troops were 
pushed forward. The infantry was drawn up in line on a wooded 
ridge. The batteries halted in the fields in the rear. At noon Bat- 
tery B was placed in position on a small knoll to the right of the di- 
vision, where it staid the remainder of the day and all that night, 
the men bivouacking beside the guns. This place, the scene of the 



88 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [May, 

recent action of the Fifth Corps, is the small post town of Hanover 
Court House, and is distinguished as the birthplace of Henry Clay. 
On the morning of the 28th, at sunrise, the battery with General 
Gorman's brigade was ordered further to the right. We proceeded 
to a hamlet called Old Church, as a colored member of the commu- 
nity informed us ; it consisted of several private dwellings, a tavern, 
and an Episcopal church. We were sent here to protect the line at 
this place, to prevent the enemy from turning our flank, and to 
support any point where our services might be required. 

May 29th. General Gorman's brigade was ordered back to the 
corps, and the battery left Old Church, arriving at our camp (which 
was between Parker's Mill and the Tyler's House, on the north side 
of the Chickahominy River), just before noon and parked. 

May 30th. Clothing and boots were issued to all who needed 
them. In the afternoon Quartermaster-sergeant Dyer returned with 
several new horses, to replace the ones that had become worn out. 
We had a heavy shower in the evening which lasted several hours. 

May 31st. Pleasant and warm ; heard heavy firing in the direc- 
tion of Richmond ; were ordered to pack up and be in readiness to 
move. Left camp at two p. m., on the march to the river; found 
the roads very bad on account of the rain the night before. We ar- 
rived at a place called Grapevine Bridge, and, crossing the Chicka- 
hominy River on the new corduroy bridge, built for the occasion, 
found the river much swoolen and overflowing the low swamp and 
boggy land on either side. After crossing the river we came to a 
stream of swift running water, formed by the overflow, which we 
found much difficulty in crossing. The cannoneers were in the water 
for an hour and a half, sometimes up to their waists. We finally 
succeeded in reaching what we supposed to be firm ground, but such 
was not the case, as only a thin crust of earth covered the swampy 
land, which soon became spongy by constant travel, so that the guns 
and caissons would descend to the hubs in the mire. The horses 
would sink to their knees as they struggled with their heavy 
loads, so, in order to relieve them, they were unhitched from the 
guns and caissons, and led to one side, in order to obtain a sure 
footing. Then the prolonges were attached to the carriages, the 
horses hitched on, and the cannoneers with fence rails pried the 
wheels up out of the mud. Then the word would be given : "A 
strong pull, and a pull altogether," upon which the guns and caissons 
would be lifted out and go on a few yards further, when car- 




<*aA*aaaaAAA 
aaaaAaaaaaaa 
aaaaaaaaaaaa 

CEh CASfY s 010 CAMP 



Fair Oaks, and Seven Pines, June I, 1862. 



1862.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY'. 89 

riages, horses and men would again sink into the soft and spongy 
soil ; at each occurrence the same manoeuvres would be repeated. In 
this way, after six hours of toil and struggle, through mud and 
water, the battery finally reached firm ground and pushed forward as 
fast as the condition of the roads would permit, arriving on the battle- 
ground of Fair Oaks at nine p. m., and bivouacked for the night 
near the Adams's house, tired, wet and hungry. The Sixty-ninth 
and Seventy-first Pennsylvania Regiments of General Burns's brig- 
ade, which were with us when we started from camp, were pushed 
forward and sent ahead, when we became stalled in the mud caused 
by the recent rains. 

On Sunday morning, June 1st, at sunrise, the battery was ordered 
further to the front. The centre and left sections, under Lieuten- 
ants Bloodgood and Adams with Captain Bartlett in command, were 
sent to the right of the line near the Courtney House. The Sixty- 
ninth and Seventy-first Pennsylvania Regiments held the line of bat- 
tle in our front. Battery A, First Regiment Rhode Island Light 
Artillery was on the same line, to our left, nearer to the road upon 
which we came. The right section, under Lieutenant Perry, was 
sent down in the vicinity of Fair Oaks, and was halted on the 
road leading to the railroad station. 

As the centre and left sections were being placed in position the 
Rebel skirmishers at our front and right opened a sharp fire upon 
our infantry. The left sections, — the howitzers, — were immediately 
turned upon them, and sent a few shells in their direction. This 
peppering was continued, during the forenoon, at every movement of 
the enemy's pickets. Our infantry in front did not become generally 
engaged ; only the pickets of both armies occasionally firing upon 
each other ; there was little loss on our side. 

About six o'clock a. m., while we were engaged in shelling the 
enemy's pickets, we heard heavy musketry firing upon our left in the 
direction of Fair Oaks Station, which continued for half an hour; 
then occurred a lull with only the report of the artillery ; then 
the firing was renewed with vigor, as though an attack was being 
made in force ; it continued for two hours or more, when there was 
another lull of short duration, then cannonading commenced, again 
accompanied with heavy musketry. This soon ceased, and all was 
quiet. We subsequently learned that the troops between Fair Oaks 
Station and Seven Pines, had had a severe engagement with the 
enemy, in which the right section took part just north of the station. 
This was called the Battle of Seven Pines, June 1, 1862. 



90 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [June, 

The fighting on the 31st of May was north of the railroad, and 
was termed the Battle of Fair Oaks, in which Battery B took no 
part, not having come up from the river in consequence of the inevi- 
table mud and water. 

When the battery was ordered to the front, on the morning of 
June 1st, the first section under Lieutenant Perry, with an aide of 
Colonel Tompkin's staff, proceeded south, on the road by which the 
Battery came the night before, passing the position occupied by 
Lieutenant Kirby's battery (I, First United States), near the 
Adams House. Beside the rail fence, in front of the battery, a 
number of dead rebels could be seen, having been struck down in 
their vain attempt to capture the battery. The section proceeded 
down the road in a southeasterly direction going toward the railroad, 
trees lined both sides of the way. Passing through a strip of 
woods the road continued through a clear open field, which extended 
to the right and left for some distance, and in front was another strip 
of woods through which the road continued to Fair Oakes Station. 
On this road the section was halted, and the two guns placed in 
battery facing the west. In the strip of woods in front, which was 
some two or three hundred yards distant, the rebel pickets were 
stationed. To our left, near the road, were two regiments, the Thirty- 
fourth and Eighty-second New York, of General Gorman's brigade. 
They were not in line of battle, but had been halted, and were 
standing at ease, leaning on their muskets and carelessly observing 
a line of men which was advancing from the woods at their right 
across this opening ; supposing they were some of our men, sent 
out from one of the regiments standing idly by, they made no 
preparation to receive them. When this section was half way 
across this opening we were surprised, by receiving from Lieutenant 
Perry, the orders "Action right ! in battery ! " and as soon as they 
were in position the order to load was given, using spherical case 
shell. Both pieces opened fire upon this line of skirmishers, which 
proved to be the enemy approaching from the woods. Our shells 
checked their further advance, and, after firing a volley at random, 
they broke and turning about ran for the woods, they had just left, 
as fast as their legs could carry them. After sending a few more 
rounds at the retreating foe, the order was given to cease firing. 
The infantry watched the confederates' departure, our fire and bursting 
shell that entered the enemy's line, with much amusement and in- 
terest, but their time of observation was of short duration, for they 



1862.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 91 

were immediately formed into line and sent to the woods, near the 
position just vacated by the rebel skirmishers. 

The road where the pieces were stationed was quite firm, but the 
ground on the left, occupied by the limbers, was spongy and muddy. 
The rail fences, on each side of the road, had been pulled down the 
day before, in the struggle which had taken place. Among these, 
on the right, dead rebels could be seen, while on the left lay 
those of the Union soldier, and squads of our men were gathering 
their bodies for burial. The pieces were facing nearly west, and to 
our left, down the road about five or six hundred yards distant, was 
Fair Oaks Station on the York River and Richmond Railroad. 
Soon after the retreat of the enemy's pickets to the woods at the 
west of the opening before mentioned, a pop — pop — popping of 
musketry was heard in the vicinity of said station ; this kept in- 
creasing and finally extended away down on the left, soon becoming 
terrific, as volley after volley was fired, followed by the roar of the 
artillery. It continued up the line to the very edge of the woods on 
our left, so near that the Minie balls from the enemy's rifles dropped 
among us as we worked our pieces, while the smoke rolled into the 
open space in our front. Our infantry was being forced back into 
this opening, and it looked as if the rebels would succeed in break- 
ing through at this place. The Thirty-fourth and Eighty-second 
New Yorkregmients were hurried to the support of our hard pressed 
troops, and succeeded in checking the advance of the enemy. 

Lieutenant Perry, meanwhile, ordered the section to change front to 
the left, facing nearly south, and to open on the advancing enemy 
with spherical case shell. The road being narrow, and the ground 
on each side spongy, it was at disadvantage that the pieces were 
worked ; nevertheless, the woods were vigorously shelled until orders 
were received to cease firing, the rebels having been repulsed and 
driven back, the ground was retaken and occupied by our troops, 
and a number of prisoners were captured. This engagement was 
called the Battle of Seven Pines. While the battle was raging, hot 
and fierce, a number of orderlies passed us on their way to the 
Adams House (which was used as a hospital), leading Gen. 0. 
O. Howard, who had been severely wounded in the arm, having 
had his horse killed under him while placing his troops in position 
near the station. 

In the afternoon, while all was quiet along the lines in our front, 
a mounted force of rebels was seen in the edge of the woods, 



92 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [J line, 

at the west of the opening previously mentioned. The pieces 
were at once pointed in that direction, and Lieutenant Perry gave 
orders to shell the enemy. Soon after a few rounds had been sent 
into their midst, they disappeared and were seen no more in that 
vicinity. It was subsequently learned that it was a company of 
rebel cavalry reconnoitering. They had met a warm reception, and 
did not find General Sedgwick's men napping. 

At dusk, supplies were brought up from the river, and the men 
were made happy by receiving rations of hard tack, salt pork, and 
coffee. The section remained in position all night, the men bivouack- 
ing beside the pieces, ready for any emergency. 

The weather on June 2d was pleasant and warm ; it was also 
better traveling, as the mud was fast disappearing. The infantry 
was kept busy burying the dead. The rebels ran a fiat-car down 
the railroad from Richmond, on which was mounted a twenty-pounder 
gun, and shelled the lines in the vicinity of Fair Oaks Station, but 
did very little damage. The right section fired a few shots in the 
direction of the railroad during the day. A number of negroes 
came into our lines late in the afternoon, and were sent to division 
headquarters. 

As the army approached Richmond, the slaves were found in 
large numbers. They visited the camp with great freedom, and 
didn't find the Yankees the barbarians their masters had represented 
them to be. All repeated substantially the same old story : " Massa 
told 'em dat der Yank would cut off" their ears, and sell dem into 
Cuba." Some of them were intelligent and shrewd, and seemed to 
understand the difference between " de norf" and, " de souf" side 
of Mason and Dixon's line. Subsequently a large number of the 
able-bodied negroes were set to work, for Uncle Sam, by Colonel 
Ingalls, who was in charge of the quartermaster's department at 
White House Landing, on the Pamunky River. 

On the morning of June 3d the cannoneers were set to work build- 
ing breastworks in front of the guns as a protection from the en- 
emy's sharp-shooters. A few shells were fired during the day. All 
was quiet during the night, for at dusk a smart shower set in and it 
continued to rain until nearly morning. The battery, meanwhile, 
remained at the front in position, the men bivouacking behind the 
earthworks at night. On the 11th, they were relieved and went into 
camp near the tavern at Fair Oaks Station, with the other batteries 
of the corps. While encamped here the corps was reinforced by 



1862.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 93 

the addition of three full regiments of infantry, and three companies 
of the Sixth New York Cavalry. A corps of artillery reserve was 
also formed, consisting of two Rhode Island batteries, B and G, 
aud Battery G, First New York. 

While moving up the Peninsula, and encamped near the Chick- 
ahominy River, the health of the men occupied the attention of the 
commander-in-chief. As a preventive of fever and ague, which 
the miasma of this region produced, half rations of whiskey, med- 
icated with quinine, were ordered, and issued morning and evening. 
This order was soon rescinded, and hot coffee substituted. 

The succeeding two weeks of camp life were, in their general 
features, not unlike many of their predecessors. The battery's 
equipments were put in order and new ones received to replace those 
old and worn, which were unfit for further service. New clothing 
and boots for the men were also issued. Passes were given to the 
men to visit other commands to see their friends ; frequent trips 
were also made to Savage's Station, our depot of supplies. The 
weather continued fitful, bestowing upon us a mingling of cloud and 
sunshine, hot days and cool nights (the swift precursors of chills, 
fever and ague). Rain caused a superabundance of mud, much to 
the detriment of artillery movements, the annoyance of teamsters, 
and the discomforture of the infantry. Corduroy road making, 
picket duties, reconnaissances and skirmishings, with an occasional 
brush of a more serious character, have occupied the time of the 
troops of the second corps. 

June 25th. The monotonous routine of camp life was broken by 
the order to prepare to move, and at eight a. m. the left section, un- 
der Lieutenant Adams, was sent to the front to the breastworks, on 
picket duty. Heavy firing was heard on the right of the line. In 
the afternoon the right and centre sections, under Lieutenants Perry 
and Bloodgood, were ordered out to the front. A brigade of in- 
fantry was dispatched in hot haste from the corps to the support of 
General Hooker, who was advancing his lines. These demonstra- 
tions and movements indicated that there was soon to be a general 
advance in the direction of Richmond. 

On the 26th, the men were made happy, notwithstanding the fact 
that they were in close proximity to the enemy, by the report that 
the paymaster was at the camp, and the battery was to be paid. 
At sunset the men went up to camp and received their pay for the 
months of April and May and then returned to the breastworks. 



94 



HISTOKY OF BATTERY B, 



[June, 



Early in the morning of the 27th, the right section, under Lieu- 
tenant Perry, was ordered further to the right and front near the 
railroad, and shelled the enemy's line at the Williamsburg and Rich- 
mond turnpike, to which the rebels made no reply. In the evening 
the battery withdrew from the breastworks and returned to camp, 
and learned that troops had been moving up to the right of the line 
all day. 

It was reported that again the advance movement of " On to 
Richmond " was in order, and that General McCall's division had 
opened the ball, on the evening of the 26th, at Beaver Dam Creek, 
near Mechanicsville. 




Private Merritt Tillinghast. 



1862.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 95 



CHAPTER IX, 



CHANGE OF BASE TO THE JAMES RIVER, AND 
SEVEN DAYS OF FIGHTING. 

AT reveille on the morning of June 28th, the battery received 
orders to be in readiness to move at a moment's notice. The 
whole army was in commotion. Swiftly galloping orderlies 
bearing dispatches to the different commands, were moving in all di- 
rections. What was the meaning of this? why — the army was pre- 
paring to move. The gathering of such a multitude is a swarm, its 
march a vast migration, with long ammunition and supply trains dis- 
posed for safety along the inner roads, guarded by infantry, the 
artillery next in order. The cavalry were the feelers of the army, 
and protected its front, rear and flanks ; while behind, trailing along 
every road for miles, are the rabble or stragglers — laggards through 
sickness or exhaustion, squads of recruits, convalescents from the 
hospitals, and special duty men going to rejoin their companies. 
Each command has its route laid down for it every day, the time of 
starting set by the watch, and its place of bivouac or camp assigned, 
together with the time for its arrival. 

If two roads came together, the command that reached the junc- 
tion first kept moving on, while the next to arrive would halt by the 
way-side or file into the fields, stack arms, build fires, and make 
their coffee. Let my reader now stand by the roadside while the 
troops are filing past. They march " route step," as it is called, — 
that is, not keeping time, — and only four abreast, as a country road 
seldom permits of more marching side by side, and allow space for 
the aides, and orderlies that gallop in either direction along the col- 
umn. If the march had just begun, you would hear the sound of 
voices everywhere, with roars of laughter in spots, marking the 
place of the company's wag. Later on, when the weight of knap- 
sack and musket begin to tell, these sounds die out, a sense of 
weariness pervades the toiling masses streaming by, voiced only by 



96 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [Jlllie, 

the shuffle of a multitude of feet, the rubbing and straining of in- 
numerable straps, and the flap of full canteens and haversacks, " three 
days' cooked rations and forty rounds " stored therein. So uni- 
formly does the mass move on that it suggests a great machine, re- 
quiring only its directing mind. 

It was not until ten o'clock at night that the battery received or- 
ders to move, and, pulling out into the road, followed the column at 
a slow pace. Marching all night, Ave arrived at Savage's Station at 
sunrise on the 29th, and parked. The horses were fed, and the men 
prepared to make coffee. Here we witnessed the great destruction 
of valuable munitions of war of every description. There were 
several stacks (as large as ordinary houses) of boxes full of hard- 
tack burning, barrels of pork, sacks of coffee, and sugar, all mak- 
ing one great bon-fire. We succeeded in obtaining a generous sup- 
ply of coffee, sugar, etc. Here and there were pools of whiskey, in 
which gunpowder and brine were mingled. 

This place (Savage's Station), on the York River and Richmond 
railroad, had been the depot of supplies for the troops that held the 
advanced lines. There was also a field hospital here, composed of 
tents, in which were placed the sick and wounded, it occupied a 
clear field of several acres on the north side of the railroad, and 
the buildings on the south side were also used for the same pur- 
pose. When the army retreated the occupants of the hospital, with 
the surgeons and nurses, fell into the hands of the enemy. 

About nine o'clock a. m. heavy infantry firing was heard in our 
rear, in the direction of the fortifications we had left the night pre- 
viously. The rebels discovering that our works were vacated and 
our army retreating, pressed close upon our rear guard, consequently 
troops from the station were sent back to support our men. 

Just before ten o'clock, an orderly from Colonel Tompkins came 
galloping up to the battery, and gave Captain Bartlett a dispatch. 
Then the order was given for the pieces to forward into column. 
Leaving the caissons, we marched back on the same road by which 
we came in the morning, passing General Franklin's headquarters, 
and turning to the left kept on down the road through a strip of 
woods to an open clearing. Here troops were drawn up in line of 
battle ; the guns were placed in battery on a small ridge facing the 
west. In front, in the woods beyond the clearing, was the infantry 
of our division holding the enemy in check, and forcing them 
back by the help of the supporting troops that had been sent to their 




■A< v* iV;'^^>vr.v ^ v • ;«•' /** ' Lk£^~ 



■ 






Savage's Station, June 29, 1862. 



180:!.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 97 

aid. A number of shells passed over our heads and to our right, 
one bursting over our position. No one was injured in the battery, 
but a number of infantrymen in our rear were not so fortunate. 
We were in what was called the Peach Orchard, on or near Allen's 
farm. The battery was not actually engaged, but remained in posi- 
tion on the reserve line, receiving the ricochet shots from the enemy. 
The battery remained here until near noon, when orders were 
given to limber up, and we were marched back again to Savage's 
Station and parked just south of the buildings near the railroad. 
At our left were the other batteries of the reserve artillery corps. 
Our caissons were in close proximity to the woods on the east, near the 
ravine, where we had left them in the morning in charge of Lieuten- 
ant Dwight, when the pieces were ordered to the front. We found 
here the Fifteenth Massachusetts assisting in the destruction of the 
commissary stores, and part of General Meagher's brigade was also 
engaged in destroying ammunition and other artillery stores. The 
plains were covered with the ruins of the vast military supplies, 
which were destroyed in order that they should not fall into the hands 
of the enemy again. Upon our first arrival here in the morning we 
had found the fields and woods alive with troops, artillery and army 
wagons and to the left in the woods was the Third Corps, but upon 
our return at noon we found the place comparatively deserted. 

The battery remained here until about six p. M., when orders 
were again received, and we moved by a circuitous route toward the 
front whence we came in the morning. Infantry firing had been 
going on for some time, with desultory cannonading. We were 
moved from point to point, finally reaching the AVilliamsburg 
road, and, turning to the left into the field, took position in bat- 
tery on elevated ground which sloped to the woods in front. This 
was the reserve line at the battle of Savage's Station. Here 
we found the Sixty-ninth New York of General Meagher's Irish 
brigade drawn up in line near to the edge of the woods ; an officer, 
on horseback, was riding along their line, who seemed to be address- 
ing the men, and cheer after cheer was heard as he passed along. 
Then came a shout, loud and long, and the regiment disappeared 
into the woods on a run. Soon the pop — pop — popping of musketry 
was heard, which told us that they had met the enemy. A few shells 
from the enemy's railroad battery passed us to th~e right and rear, 
but we remained silent, obeying orders to limber up and get out as 
quickly as possible, and we waited for no second invitation. We 

7 



98 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [June, 

moved along slowly until the road was reached, and then the order 
was given for the cannoneers to mount, and clambering upon the 
trails, axles, and pieces, or anywhere else where we could cling on (for 
the caissons were not with us), we started down the road on a trot. 
After going several miles we left the Williamsburg pike, and turned 
to the right, going south. This road was crowded with wagon 
trains, which would halt at times, then start on a gallop at break- 
neck speed. During one of these halts the battery pulled out to the 
right into the fields in order to pass the wagon trains, and started on 
a gallop (cannoneers mounted), to catch up with the reserve artil- 
lery train, which was a short distance ahead. We had turned into 
a cornfield covered with standing stubbles. As the wheel of the 
sixth limber suddenly sunk into a hole, after going over one of the corn 
hillocks, three men were thrown off the chest, one, David B. Patterson, 
was run over.* The other men escaped unhurt, and mounting the 
limber chest again, the drivers were ordered on and endeavored to 
overtake the battery which had preceded them, but the road and 
fields were so crowded with the army wagons of the different trains 
that it was sunset before the battery was reached. We found it 
halted in a wheat field awaiting its turn to cross the bridge. At 
nine o'clock p. m., the battery crossed the White Oak Swamp Bridge, 
moved on through the marsh to rising ground and turned into a 
field on the left of the road and parked ; here the horses were fed, 
having had no provender since early in the morning. The men 
were tired, muddy and hungry, and rolled up in their blankets 
bivouacked under the gun and caisson carriages over which the tar- 
paulins had been thrown. 

We were suddenly aroused from our slumber, on the morning of 
the 30th, by the opening of the rebel artillery (General Jackon's) 
from the other side of the swamp beyond the bridge. For awhile 

*On Sunday, June 29, 1862, on the retreat from Savage's Station, Va., I was thrown 
from the limber box of the sixth piece, as was also Joseph Luther and Allen Burt, who 
I believe escaped unhurt. The wheel of the gun carriage passed over my left thigh and 
right ankle, breaking both badly. I was carried to a tree out of the way of the moving 
trains and left there. The rebels soon occupied the ground, and I was held a prisoner at 
Richmond until July 29th, just one month, when I was put . on board a freight car with 
others and taken to City Point, on the James River. My limbs had not been set while in 
Richmond and my thigh, which had just begun to heal, was again broken by the jolting 
of the cars, subsequently my legs were set at the hospital in Chester. Penn. The doctors 
finding that my left leg was three inches shorter than my right, pulled and strapped it 
down as far as they could, but when healed it still remained one and a quarter inches 
shorter than the right. The knee joint also became quite stiff; but I was thankful to re - 
gain partial use of my legs instead of losing them all together.— David B. Patterson. 




White Oak Bridge and Glendale, June 29-30, 1862. 



1862.] FIRST KHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 99 

there was dire confusion, as the shells burst in our midst. Fortu- 
nately the shelling did not last long, and order was soon restored ; 
the dangerously crowded masses were rapidly deployed, and trains 
ordered to move on to a place of safety. It was remarkable that 
only one teamster and two mules were injured by the bursting of the 
shells. When the shelling began Battery B had received orders to 
hitch up as soon as possible, therefore, as soon as the road was cleared, 
it pulled out and moved along down the Long Bridge road marching 
in a southwesterly direction. After passing the cross roads (a point 
where the Charles City and Long Bridge roads form a junction 
with the Quaker road) the battery turned into the fields at the left 
and moved south along a ridge until near some small trees and 
bushes ; here the section was ordered into position, the cannoneers to 
remain at post. Heavy artillery firing was heard in our rear, in 
the direction of White Oak Swamp bridge. The firing lasted an 
hour or more, after which it occured only at intervals. 

About four o'clock in the afternoon skirmish firing broke out in 
our front, troops were rushed forward, and soon became fiercely 
engaged in a deadly conflict. By the repeated assaults of the rebels 
our line was broken, two brigades (Generals Dana's and Gorman's, 
under Colonel Sully,) lying in our front, having just come up from 
the bridge and halted while the battery "was taking position, were 
sent forward into the gap, abandoned by General Seymour's men, 
when the rebels broke into our lines. The lire here was intensely 
hot, and, although some of the regiments which arrived in haste 
were thrown individually into action, and became somewhat confused 
by General McCall's men breaking through their forming ranks, the 
ground was never for an instant entirely yielded to the enemy. 
The brigades of Generals Burns and Dana with their supports, 
sustained the brunt of the action. 

During this engagement (the battle of Glendale) the battery was 
not called into action, but remained under fire in the line of reserve. 
A number of shells passed over us to the rear, one bursting over our 
heads and wounding three men : Sylvester G. Ide, Daniel Capron, 
and Harry Pearce. Their wounds being slight they were not sent to 
the hospital, but taken into our ambulance. Soon after this acci- 
dent the battery received orders to limber up, and withdrew, passing 
to the left through a strip of woods, toward a road running south 
along which three lines of wagon trains were moving. 

Captain Bartlett perceiving a break in the line, ordered the battery 



100 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [Jill)', 

to move down toward the road, and as soon as an opportunity 
offered we moved into line, then continued on the march, with the 
trains to the rear, down the Quaker road toward the James River, 
passing Frank's battery in position on the left of the road and the 
infantry throwing up breastworks. We moved on to where a road 
branched off to the left, following this (the wagons trains keeping 
on down to the right) and going a short distance we halted on the 
left of the road on the brow of a small ravine, in which was a creek. 
Here the battery was parked, horses unharnessed for the first 
time in several days, taken to water, and fed on half rations, 
as our supply of forage was becoming exhausted. The men built 
fires and soon had pots of hot coffee to wash down the pork and 
hard tack. The hot coffee was refreshing and went a long way to- 
ward reviving the spirits of the men, after their long, tiresome tramp. 
On the morning of July 1st, the battery was moved up to the 
ridge, near the Binford House, the horses were then unhitched and 
taken back to the creek to water ; after they had gone, Captain 
Bartlett received orders to move up to the front, and word was sent 
the drivers to return immediately with the horses ; all had been watered 
by the time the order was received by Sergt. C. H. Adams, who 
was in charge of the drivers. The horses returned on a gallop. 
The battery was then hitched up and moved further to the left and 
front, taking position in battery in the reserve line. To our left 
the other batteries of the reserve artillery of the Second Corps, 
were in line. The infantry of the corps was lying at the foot of 
the slope, and hidden from the enemy's view by the rising ground in 
front. Between ten and eleven o'clock in the forenoon the enemy's 
skirmishers began firing upon the left ; later it extended along the 
line down to our front. This was followed by artillery fire from 
their batteries. The enemy kept up a desultory fire until about 
noon, with no serious injury to our troops, who were well masked, 
and revealed but little of our strength or position in retaliatory firing 
or exposure. Up to this time our infantry was resting upon their 
arms in battle-line and waiting the moment, certain to come, when 
the enemy would make an advance charge. The rebels kept up a 
fire at intervals along the line until the middle of the afternoon, 
apparently trying to ascertain the strength of our line. Then there 
was a lull, an ominous silence on the part of the enemy ; broken about 
5.30 o'clock by the rebels. Battery after battery opened fire along 
the whole front, following which the infantry pressed forward in 



1862.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 101 

columns, covering first one point and then another selected for 
their attack. Regiment after regiment and brigade after brigade 
rushed at our batteries ; but we mowed the enemy down with shrap- 
nel shell, and cannister ; while our infantry withheld its fire until 
the enemy was within a short range when it scattered the remnants 
of their columns, sometimes following them up and capturing pris- 
oners and colors. 

During this engagement at Malvern Hill, the battery was in posi- 
tion in the reserve line of the Second Corps, which extended along 
the ridge northwest of the Binford House. During the artillery fire, 
a rebel batteiy took position in our front and opened on our lines. 
We were not permitted to engage the battery, but compelled to stand 
and take their fire. Many of their shells went to our left, some 
over our heads ; several passed through the battery between the 
pieces, while others struck the ground in front and burst, scattering 
pieces in all directions. One shell was seen to strike the ground, 
about one hundred and fifty yards distant in our front, then to rico- 
chet in the air, and, striking the ground again some yards nearer, 
pass one of the guns, skipping along toward the horses of the gun 
limber, and striking one of the leaders on the ankle, breaking its 
leg. Lying on the ground back of, and partly under the limber 
chest, in the shade, were several men, among them Corp. Calvin W. 
Rathbone, who was lying on his side, with his head on his arm ; he 
raised his head just as the shell came under the limber, and it struck 
him a glancing blow on the forehead, cutting the skin and causing 
the blood to flow copiously down his face. The blow stunned him 
instantly, and it was some time before he revived. It was thought 
at first that he could not survive the effects of the injury. He was 
taken to the hospital, where he received excellent medical treatment, 
and, after several weeks' absence, returned to the battery. Another 
remarkable incident occurred at this time. One of the recruits, 
John Green, a sturdy young Irishman, who came to the battery last 
February, was hit twice with pieces of shell, but not seriously in- 
jured. The first piece of the shell struck him a light blow on his 
arm, but, causing no injury, it was soon forgotten by his comrades. 
This happened in the forenoon, soon after the rebel battery opened 
fire upon us. In the afternoon, as the shelling became quite brisk, 
just before the charge of the enemy on General Franklin's left front, 
another shell exploded over the left section, and the second piece of 
shell hit Green on his leg, making him jump around lively. He was 



102 HISTORYOF BATTERY B, [July? 

mad as a " march hare," using strong language profusely, and as- 
serting "the d — n rebels has got the dead range on me sure." 
This, like the blow received earlier in the day, was not of a serious 
nature, and he soon recovered. But ever afterward it was a com- 
mon by-word with the men : " Look out, John, the rebels has got 
a dead range on you." 

Although the battery was in the reserve during these seven days 
of fighting, six of its horses were disabled, two of which had to be 
killed, and six men were wounded, but none seriously except Cor- 
poral Patterson who was left in the hands of the enemy. 

During the battle of Malvern Hill, July 1st, the position of 
the battery was such, that, by looking to the right and front, 
the troops of General Franklin could be seen, and to the left of these, 
those of General Heintzelman ; while the troops of the Second Corps 
lay at the foot of the slope, in front of the ridge on which the bat- 
tery was in position. 

Battery B was kept in position all day and evening, and, al- 
though it did not get into any engagement with the enemy, its posi- 
tion was such that it received the lonjr ran^e and ricochet shots of 
the rebel's artillery fire ; while the battle was raging in the after- 
noon, and almost at its crisis, we were startled by hearing boom- 
ing in our rear. Soon the cry was raised: "The gun-boats are 
firing." At times we could watch the shot in its flight, then it 
would disappear in the clouds of smoke. The gun-boats soon ceased 
firing, as they were unable from lack of elevation of their guns to 
throw their shots far enough'. Our siege guns, stationed at the left 
of the Malvern house, General Porter's headquarters,. kept up a steady 
fire, which was anything but pleasant to the enemy. At sunset we 
witnessed a charge made by the rebels, who were approaching from 
the woods in front of General Franklin's troops ; his men were in- 
visible to the advancing foe which had an open field to cross, con- 
sequently, when they had traversed about half the width of this field, 
our men seemed to rise out of the ground to receive them. They 
met — but the smoke of their muskets shut from our vision the deadly 
conflict ; as soon as the air cleared, however, the rebels could be seen 
retreating, running for the woods, and our men in hot pursuit, firing as 
they advanced ; they did not chase the foe very far, but retired in 
good order, having captured a few prisoners and colors. The havoc 
made by the bursting shells sent from our guns, so arranged as to 
sweep in any direction far and near, was fearful to behold. Pressed 




Malvern Hill, July 1, 1862. 



1862.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 103 

to the extreme limit of endurance, as our troops had been during these 
quick marches day and night, continued without sleep and on short 
rations, it fully tested the courage of the soldier. The safety of our 
army — the life of the Union — was felt to be at stake — and our forces 
triumphed. It is not to be supposed that the men of the Second 
Corps, though concealed by the irregularities of the ground, escaped 
the enemy's fire. The fact is, although they were not called upon 
to expose themselves by pursuing the enemy, many were killed and 
wounded from dropping bullets and bursting shells, and bravely they 
bore the severe trial of remaining inactive under this heavy fire. 

As night set in the firing of the infantry ceased ; the artillery kept 
up a fire at intervals. At nine p. m. the fighting was over, the 
battle won. Thus ended the memorable " Seven Days Battle," 
which, for severity, stubborn resistance, and endurance of hard- 
ships by the contestants, was not surpassed during the war. The 
battle of Malvern Hill thus passes into history. 

At ten o'clock on the night of July 1st, the battery with the other 
reserve artillery, preceded by the wagon train, withdrew from 
Malvern Hill by the River road, passing over Turkey Island Bridge, 
which spans a creek of the same name, and moved in the direction 
of the James River, where the lights on the gun-boats could be seen. 
On we marched all night, toward our destination, Harrison's 
Landing, which we reached about noon on the 2d, finding the fields 
soaked. The soil was quickly reduced to paste (new name for 
mud) by the tramp of men and quadrupeds. The battery was 
parked awaiting orders, and remained here the rest of the day and 
bivouacked during the night. The troops were wet and weary from 
their hard march over muddy roads, in the midst of a heavy rain. 
The infantry, artillery, and wagon trains were drawn up in an im- 
mense field of standing wheat near the Harrison mansion, also 
called the Berkeley House. The grain was laid down in the tents 
to serve as a protection from the wet ground. Neither fence rails 
nor wood was to be had, and the army was exceedingly uncomfortable. 
Fortunately the transports on the James River landed rations, which 
proved a great blessing, since many of the men and horses had had 
no food in forty-eight hours. The rain continued until shortly after 
midnight ; the flimsy wheat floors were soon floating in pools of 
water, besides, the soil would not hold the tent pins and many 
were blown down, exposing the men to the pelting rain, their 
beds sinking deeper and deeper into the mud. Notwithstanding this 



104 HISTORY. OF BATTERY B, [July, 

most uncomfortable state of affairs, the men, freed from care and 
oblivious of danger, slept the sweet sleep of rest and awoke the next 
morning with a brillant sun, a happier, brighter and stronger body 
of men. 

About seven o'clock on the morning of the 3d, while some of the 
men were still sleeping, and others attempting to start fires in order 
to o-et their breakfast of hot coffee, they were startled by a sudden 
outburst of artillery fire and shells whistling over the plains ; the 
shots were scattering, and seemed to be directed principally at the 
shipping in the river. The troops were summoned to arms, but 
very little damage being done by the shells, the affair was soon 
turned to account as a joke. While the Union army was retreating, 
General Stuart, with his cavalry, had been operating in the centre 
of the Peninsula, and, learning of the exposed position of General 
McClellan's forces on the James, he hastened to this point and sta- 
tioned his battery near Westover Church, across Herring Creek, 
north of the landing ; a few shells from our gun-boats compelled him 
to speedily shift the position of his guns ; and General Kimball's 
brigade (of General Shields's division) having just arrived from 
the Shenandoah, advanced, and after some lively skirmishing cleared 
the field of the rebels. 

The army immediately took position on high ground, about Har- 
rison's Landing, and went into camp, on an intrenched line extend- 
in°- several miles, the left resting on the James River, and forming 
a half circle toward Rawling's Mill Pond, then around to the east of 
Westover Church, the right resting on Herring Creek. After the 
departure of General Stuart and his cavalry, nothing more was seen 
of nor heard from the enemy for some time. 

Too much praise cannot be said in favor of the officers and men 
who passed through these seven days of battle ; enduring fatigue and 
hunger without a murmur, and successfully meeting and repelling 
every attack made upon them ; from the time the Union army left 
Old Point Comfort it had fought the Confederates at great disad- 
vantage. The enemy were on their own ground ; they were familiar 
with the country ; knew every nook and corner ; every swamp and 
hiding-place ; and the direction of every road and cross-road They 
also had many spies, mingled with the people among whom we en- 
camped, who gave warning of all our movements, enabling the reb- 
els to take advantage of every circumstance that could be turned 
against the Union army. We, on the contrary, had everything to 



1862.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 105 

learn, with few reliable sources of information, and constantly liable 
to be misled. Nearly all trustworthy facts had to be obtained by re- 
connaissances. Yet, with all these unfavorable conditions, the Union 
arms were more than a match for the rebels ; who retreated from 
the siege of Yorktown ; were beaten at Williamsburg, West Point, 
Cold Harbor, Hanover Court House, and in all the battles which 
occurred on the Peninsula, except Gaines's Mill, which may be re- 
garded as the solitary exception. 

By the time the Union army had crossed the Chickahominy, dis- 
ease had begun to make serious inroads among its ranks ; still, the 
enemy were again beaten at Fair Oaks, Seven Pines, Savage's Sta- 
tion, White Oak Bridge, when the Union army was passing through 
AVhite Oak Swamp, Glendale or Frazier's Farm, and finally at Mal- 
vern Hill. With the Union army it was to fight, and hold their 
ground ; to fight again, then fall back, fighting by day, advance step 
by step, only to fall back at night, was all that was done. What this 
move accomplished, if anything, in the great struggle, more than to 
change from one place to another the base of supplies, time alone 
will tell. The army of the Potomac has now arrived safely at the 
James River, and established its lines at Harrison's Landing, in the 
form of a crescent, the right and left wings resting on the rivers, 
supported by gun-boats. 



106 HISTORY- OF BATTERY B, [July? 



CHAPTER X. 



HARRISON'S LANDING— EVACUATION OF THE 
PENINSULA. 

PERHAPS the most trying experience in war is the necessity 
that sometimes occurs in making a retreat, of leaving the sick 
and wounded behind ; this was sadly realized during our late 
movements, when our means for the removal of those in need of aid 
were found to be totally inadequate, and hundreds were left on con- 
tested grounds, at the mercy of the enemy. The roll-call, after a 
battle, tinges success with sadness. Battery B was far more for- 
tunate than some of the other batteries of the regiment, only one of 
our number fell into the hands of the enemy, during those trying 
times of holding the foe in check. In the last chapter we left the 
battery safely encamped at Harrison's Landing, with other bat- 
teries of the brigade, awaiting orders. 

Harrison's Landing received its name in honor of Benjamin Harri- 
rison, one of the signers of the declaration of independence and a friend 
of Washington ; it also possesses an additional interest in being the 
birth-place of the late president, William Henry Harrison. During 
the rebellion the old mansion was still standing near the river, being 
used for hospital purposes. On the roof of the house the signal corps 
had a station and lookout, thus obtaining a commanding view of the 
surrounding country. The granary of the old plantation was occupied 
by Dr. Holmes, of Brooklyn, N. Y., as an embalming house. At this 
season of the year the surrounding country afforded an interesting field 
for the enthusiastic amateur or professional entomologist. " Every 
creeping thing " that Noah permitted to enter the ark, and some, 
perhaps, that he did not, were to be found here. Some specimens 
being decidedly ill-favored, and by no means desirable as compan- 
ions. Talk of "rats in Brazil," or "cockroaches in Japan," they 



1862.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 107 

were not a circumstance to the fly tribe at Harrison's Landing. Here 
the most hardened and impracticable rebel would have given up, and 
no doubt taken the oath of allegiance, rather than endure the torture 
of these little pests for one week. Remember, the mercury was 
at 100°, and sometimes reaching 110° in the shade; you "strike 
the air " with a quick, irregular motion of the hand, hoping to 
catch your tormentors, but they only increase their zealous attacks 
for this attempt at self-defence. Buzz ! buzz ! buzz ! flies on the 
nose ; flies in the ears ; flies in the food ; flies in the tent ; flies in 
the air outside ; you attempt a short nap, flies take possession of 
you, and it is a failure ; black, biting, merciless flies everywhere. 
Look at the poor horses at the picket-rope and those in yonder 
shade ; you can fairly count their ribs, and despair seems depicted 
in their faces ; how they stamp their feet, shake their heads or 
whisk their tails, and pull at the halter for release, but all in vain, 
and it is no marvel that they are often frenzied beyond recovery, and 
next to a miracle will it be if any escape. In a fair fight the rebels 
can be vanquished, but flies in fly-time — never ! no, never ! ! Like 
hungry contractors, they stick till gorged, and then retire, only to re- 
turn for another feast. It is said that all things have an end, and this 
was verified by the army making preparations to leave the Peninsula 
and — flies — much to the delight of the troops, who were not loth to 
leave their tormentors. 

July 3d. In compliance with orders the position of the battery 
was changed twice during the forenoon, and finally was moved to- 
ward a strip of woods, where it was allowed to encamp. The 
picket-rope was stretched and secured to the trees, and the horses 
hitched to it so that they might be in the shade and protected from 
the hot sun. The shelter tents of the men were pitched and laid 
out in rows, with a street running between them. When all was 
finished we were allowed to settle down into camp life, and enjoy 
well earned rest and repose. 

July 4th was a busy day in the battery, not in celebrating the na- 
tional holiday, but in receiving the much needed rations and other 
supplies. The chests were packed with ammunition, and clothing 
was issued to those in need of it, as well as other supplies necessary 
to the comfort of the troops which cannot be had while on the march 
or battle-field. 

On Sunday, the 6th, there was mounted inspection of the battery 
by Captain Bartlett. 



108 HISTORY. OF BATTERY B, [July, 

On the 7th, President Lincoln visited the army, stopping at Gen- 
eral McClellan's headquarters. The weather was warm and pleas- 
ant, and rumors were in circulation that as McClellan's Peninsula 
campaign was a failure, the president had come to see for himself 
the condition of the army, and what was to be done next. 

On the 8th, at noon, the Army of the Potomac was ordei-ed under 
arms, and turned out in grand array to receive the president, and be 
reviewed by him. He was welcomed with the customary official 
salute, and, as he rode along the lines of each division, the stentorian 
cheers of the men rent the air. The artillery brigade of the Second 
Corps was on the left of the line, and orders were given Battery B 
to prepare to lire a salute, but as the president and his escort did not 
pass us near enough for the purpose, we did not have the honor of 
firing. General Halleck and other high military dignitaries accom- 
panied the president. 

On the 12th, we received notice that General Halleck had been ap- 
pointed commander-in-chief of all the armies. The air was full of 
rumors about future operations, but these soon ceased, the troops 
quieted down, and inactivity reigned supreme. 

On Sunday, the 20th, there was a mounted inspection of the bat- 
tery by Col. C. H. Tompkins and staff; after which passes were 
given out to the men, and many availed themselves of the privilege 
of visiting friends in other commands ; while some went to the steam- 
boat landing where the sutlers were located. The river at the land- 
ing displayed all the activity of a commercial life ; at times more than 
one hundred sailing vessels and steamers could be seen lying at an- 
chor in the stream waiting to discharge or receive cargoes. Among the 
steamers were the Canonicus, of Providence, Commodore and State 
of Maine, of Boston, and the Nantasket and South America of New 
Bedford. The ironclads Dakota, Monitor and Galena, moved back 
and forth, watchful of their defenseless proteges, and looking out for 
rebel demonstrations on either bank. 

The bank along the shore, both above and below the landing, was 
lined with the officers' quarters, hospitals, ambulances, commissary 
stores, post-office, express office, photographic establishment, horse 
and mule corral, and a forest of army wagons ; these with a host of 
contraband men, women and children, of all shades, from neutral 
tint to jet black, formed a picturesque scene, while their shouts, 
laughter and loud lingo reminded one of the confusion of tongues. 
The most elated, among all this multitude, were the army sutlers, 



186*2.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 109 

whose merchandise found a ready sale, at fabulous prices, for when 
a soldier wanted anything that could be had, he generally obtained 
the article, caring naught for the expense. 

On the 22d, the battery received orders to prepare for a review. 
The weather being fine this activity so revived the spirits of the men 
that the forenoon seemed to pass more quickly than usual. At noon 
the battery hitched up and moved out to the plain, a short distance 
from camp, where the Second Corps was forming into line ; the First 
Division, General Richardson's, was on the right ; the artillery in 
the centre, and the Second Division, General Sedgwick's on the left. 
The commanding officers were in front of their respective divisions 
and brigades. At two o'clock General Sumner, the commander of 
the Corps, and staff rode out and halted in front of the line. Soon 
General McClellan and staff rode up to General Sumner ; then both 
generals wheeled, and followed by their staffs rode up to the right of 
the line ; the bands meanwhile playing martial music, which was con- 
tinued during the review. The enthusiasm of the troops was remark- 
able, and, while McClellan and Sumner, with their staffs, passed 
them in review, their huzzas filled the air. It was a day of compli- 
ments, and General Sumner was the recipient of many on account of 
the fine appearance of his corps. The entire review was most ad- 
mirably conducted. The Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth were re- 
viewed in rotation, some of which Battery B's men had the pleasure 
of witnessing. 

On the 26th the monotony of camp life was somewhat broken by 
the information that there was to be a grand review of the Army of 
the Potomac by the commander-in-chief, General Halleck. The 
troops proceeded to make great preparations for the event, but no re- 
view took place. General Halleck, with the president, visited Gen- 
eral McClellan's headquarters, where an informal consultation of the 
corps commauders was held, General Burnside was also present, and 
the situation was fully discussed. 

July 31st. Boots and saddle call was blown, and orders given for 
mounted inspection ; the meaning of this was a mystery, for it was 
only a short time since the battery had had such an inspection. The 
battery was soon hitched up, and after inspection by Captain Bart- 
lett, left camp and went down near to the landing ; here the guns and 
caissons, with all the equipments, were turned over to the ordnance 
department, and in return the battery received a park of six new 
light twelve-pound Napoleon brass guns and caissons, with new 



110 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [August, 

equipments, proudly we returned to camp. One of these guns was 
destined to figure prominently in the annals of war, as the sub- 
sequent pages will relate. 

On the morning of August 1st, between two and three o'clock, the 
firing of artillery was heard. The troops were ordered under arms 
and the battery was hitched up, remaining so for about an hour, 
when they were ordered to unhitch and unharness their horses, and 
turn in. During the day it was learned that the firing had been 
caused by a small force of rebels, who, with a battery, had taken po- 
sition on a hill across the river and shelled our transports and supply 
depot at the landing, doing, however, comparatively little damage. 
A force of our troops, being sent across the river, soon dispersed 
the rebels, and at the same time seized Coggin's Point, where the 
elevated ground had favored the style of the enemy's night attack. 

On the 2d, all was life and activity again. Part of the army was 
on the move — " On to Richmond." The Third Corps was advanced 
to Malvern Hill, and others were expected to follow. The army had 
become restless for want of work, and there was great rejoicing at 
the prospect of a forward movement. 

On the 4th, we received word that General Hooker, of the Third 
Corps, had extended the advance line to Glendale, on the Charles 
City cross road ; General Sedgwick, with his division, had been or- 
dered to General Hooker's support. On the 5th these two divisions 
made the most important reconnaissance yet achieved ; they ad- 
vanced, driving the enemy from Malvern Hill and vicinity, and again 
taking possession of the old battle-ground. This move made the 
line all clear from Harrison's Landing to Glendale. 

On the 7th more troops were sent out to strengthen the lines. At 
sunset the reserve artillery received orders to be in readiness to 
move to the front. At nine p. m., Battery B left camp, passed 
through our line of earthworks, and marched up to within a short 
distance of Malvern Hill, here it halted and parked for the night, 
the men bivouacking beside their pieces. The battery remained 
here, as did the rest of the reserve, until the afternoon of the 8th, 
when it was ordered to return to camp, which it did, none the worse 
for the little airing and beneficial exercise. For the last three days the 
general topic of discussion has been concerning the rumor floating about 
camp as to the future movements of the Army of the Potomac. The 
sick confined in camp were sent down to the hospital at the landing 
on the 10th ; their illness being mostly light cases of fever and diarr- 



1862.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. Ill 

hoea, the men having been reduced and broken down by climatic and 
other influences. 

On the 11th the battery was placed under light marching orders, 
all surplus baggage, knapsacks of the men and camp equipage were 
sent down to the landing, and turned over to the quartermaster's de- 
partment. The landing of any express matter was discontinued, 
much to the disappointment of the men who were expecting boxes 
from friends. The rumors of the past week to the effect that the 
army was to be withdrawn from the Peninsula, thus proved to be 
true, for a large portion of the troops and artillery, with the neces- 
sary transportation and forage wagons, were to be sent to Yorktown, 
Hampton, and Newport News, there to embark for the north, to the 
defence of the city of Washington. To remove the army and its 
entire equipage without loss, in the face of a powerful foe, was an 
undertaking requiring great forecast and skill. In order to conceal 
our future movements from the enemy, the gun-boats were kept up 
toward City Point, watching the enemy, and to all appearances wait- 
ing for the coming of the formidable ram from Richmond ; the bal- 
loon regularly visited the upper regions, to view the surrounding- 
country enveloped in smoke ; and the tooting of bugles and beatino- 
of drums in the camps, were, if possible, more stentorian and defiant 
than ever, as much as to say : " Here we are, come if you dare." 
The usual parades, the guard-mountings and drills went on just as if 
nothing unusual was about to take place. Steamers coming up the 
river brought large companies of returning absentees, which greatly 
aided our plans of secrecy. Meantime, all of the sick at the landing 
were sent north to other hospitals. The heavy ordnance and surplus 
stores have been shipped on board of transports, and extra rations 
have been issued to all commands. We marvel at the capability of 
" mine host," who can daily dine his three or four thousand guests 
upon the abundance of the land, or clams of the sea-shore ; or at 
the purveyor, who, under mammoth tents provides satisfactorily for 
from twelve to fifteen hundred hungry mortals. What, then, must 
be the brain-work and administrative power of the man (the quar- 
termaster-general of the army) who, for an entire campaign, calcu- 
lates and provides seasonably for an army of one or two hundred 
thousand men? To the unseen power, giving motion to all this 
complicated machinery, and producing such wonderful results, no 
small praise is due. But, notwithstanding all the liberal provisions 
made, there are times when it is needful to avail ourselves of local 



112 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [August, 

resources and foraging becomes an important feature as well as a 
necessity. Our government, however, respected the private rights 
of the citizens, and generously compensated those loyal to our cause 
who suffered from the necessary depredations of our men ; these, 
therefore, seldom had cause for serious complaint. Occasionally, 
however, a professedly Union man would reveal his true colors and 
have to abide the pecuniary consequences. 

The following incident is one of many that might be told, and was 
related by a colonel commanding a reconnoitering party which had 
encamped in a field of clover. As was natural under the circum- 
stances, the horses, being in clover, lost no time in taking advantage 
of it. The owner of the field having made remonstrances without 
effect, demanded payment for his loss, when the following brief con- 
versation ensued : 

Proprietor of field. — " Colonel commanding, I believe?" 

Colonel. — tk You believe right, sir." 

P. — u Well, colonel, your men and horses have trampled down my 
clover field and completely destroyed it. Do you inteud paying for 
it?" 

Col. — " Well, sir, are you loyal? " 

P.—" Yes, sir." 

Col. — "Are you willing to take the oath of allegiance to the 
United States?" 

p._"No, sir." 

Col. — " Then get Jeff. Davis to pay you, and you get out of my 
tent d d quick, you infamous traitor." 

The would be unionist decamped, and so the parties separated. 

The work of preparing to leave Harrison's Landing continued, to 
the regret of many of the commanding officers. Contrary, how- 
ever, to General McClellan's expectations, the Peninsular campaign 
of the army of the Potomac for 1862 virtually ended on the 4th of 
July. From that date until the army took up the line of march 
from the landing, its commander was engaged in the struggle of 
retaining it on the James. The army was withdrawn north to the 
line of defences at Washington, returning to the James however in 
the summer of 1864. 

August 13th. Capt. G-eorge 0. Bartlett sent in his resignation to 
headquarters. In the forenoon the cannoneers were drilled at the 
manual of the piece by chiefs of sections, Lieutenants Perry, Adams, 
and Bloodgood. In the afternoon there was mounted inspection by 



1862.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 113 

Captain Bartlett. Then clothing and boots were issued to all that 
needed or desired them. For the last time passes were given to the 
men to visit the landing and interview the sutlers, a few of whom 
still remained. 

On the loth, Captain Bartlett received his resignation, and, turn- 
ing the command over to First Lieut. Raymond H. Perry, left 
the landing, for Washington, by way of the mail steamer. Thus for 
the fourth time in a year the battery was under the command of 
Lieutenant Perry. At five o'clock p. m. boots and saddles call was 
sounded, the battery was ordered to hitch up and be in readiness to 
move at a moment's notice. The troops of the Third Corps had 
been moving all day. It was not until seven o'clock, on the morn- 
ing of the 16th, that the battery received the order of " Right piece 
forward ! " and, turning our backs upon both the enemy, we had beaten 
at Malvern Hill, and the entomological tribe (the flies) that had shared 
our tents and disturbed our repose, we took up our line of march 
with our corps (the Second) by way of the River road. We passed 
through a rugged and somewhat hilly country, containing a number 
of splendid farms, green with fine crops of growing grain, and a 
great variety of fruit, to which the troops helped themselves without 
any invitation ; neither were the pigs nor poultry overlooked. The 
cornfields also received especial attention, the men indulging freely in 
this treat ; the horses were not forgotten, but received their share of 
the sweet green stalks and grain. After the troops and trains had 
passed through these once green fields, they looked as if a cyclone had 
struck them. On account of the crowded condition of the road the 
battery did not travel more than five or six miles the first day, bivou- 
acking at night by the wayside. The next morning, the 17th, we made 
an early start, marching all day. Our course lay through Charles 
City Court House and several other small hamlets, we arrived at the 
Chickahominy late at night. A number of gun-boats were seen at 
anchor below the bridge, retained there in order to prevent it from 
being shelled by the enemy while the troops were crossing. The bat- 
tery crossed on the pontoon bridge from Bartlett's Ferry to the north 
side, and encamped for the night a short distance from the river. 
This bridge was about one thousand four hundred feet in length, and 
built under the direction of Captains Spaulding and Duane of the 
Fiftieth New York Regiment ; it was a fine specimen of engineering 
skill, and greatly facilitated the withdrawal both of the army and 
the immense trains of the commissary, quartermaster's and ordnance 



114 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [AugUSt T 

departments. All landed safely on the northern side of the river, 
sustaining only the loss of a single baggage wagon, which, breaking 
down on the way, became useless, and was burned, to prevent its 
falling into the bands of the enemy. 

We continued our march on the 18th and 19th, and, passing near 
Williamsburg, encamped above Yorktown on the bank of the York 
River. The weather was warm and delightful, and many improved 
the opportunity by bathing in the river; which, though not a mili- 
tary, was certainly a very salutary, exercise, and greatly enjoyed. 
We also had lots of sport in raking (with our hands) the river bed 
for oysters ; though there was much pleasure in catching these bi- 
valves, there was double pleasure in eating them. During our stay 
here we lived on little less than oysters, a diet which was very re- 
cuperating to our overtaxed powers. At roll call, on the afternoon 
of the 20th, orders were read to the men, among them one from our 
commander, Lieutenant Perry, which restored Sergt. CTeorge W. 
Blair to his former rank, that of first sergeant, and reducing First 
Sergt. John E. Wardlow to his former rank, that of third sergeant. 

It was expected that we would embark from Yorktown ; but early 
on the morning of the 21st we were ordered to Hampton, arriving 
there at sunset after a hard and tedious tramp ; we went into camp a 
short distance from the place where the battery had encamped four 
months previously. Here we had to remain, waiting for transports, 
until the 26th, when the troops of the Second Corps began to em- 
bark. 

The embarking of all the troops and munitions of war gathered in the 
neighborhood of Yorktown, Fortress Monroe and Newport News. 
was an undertaking of even greater magnitude, than their removal 
from Harrison's Landing the previous week ; in fact, taking the two 
together, they are without parallel in the military history of our 
country. It more particularly deserves attention because such work, 
in connection with the active operations of an army, is seldom appre- 
ciated ; upon the promptness and care with which it is executed 
may depend, in no small degree, the success of an enterprise involv- 
ing momentous consequences. In the present instance the embarka- 
tion was commenced and industriously pursued, until every transport 
had received its full complement of men, horses or munitions of war ; 
great credit is due to those under whose immediate supervision the 
whole was effected. 

It was late in the afternoon of the 27th before the battery received 



1862.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 115 

orders to move down to the wharf where it was to embark. Owing 
to the crowded condition of the landing, it was nearly midnight be- 
fore the work of loading was accomplished. The officers, with the 
cannoneers, guns, caissons, wagons, and a number of horses em- 
barked on the propeller Putnam, which drew out into Hampton 
Roads and anchored for the night ; the drivers witli their horses, un- 
der command of Lieut. George W. Adams, remained on the wharf, 
where they bivouacked for the night. 

At eight o'clock on the morning of the 28th, the Putnam steamed 
up the Chesapeake Bay, and stopped at Acquia Creek landing, on 
the Potomac. Here the captain of the propeller received orders to 
proceed to Alexandria, arriving there at sunset of the 29th ; the pro- 
peller run alongside of the wharf and the battery unloaded, mounted, 
and parked beside the landing ; the officers and men were quartered 
in shanties and tents along the river bank, to await the arrival of 
Lieutenant Adams with the remainder of the battery. 

About seven miles below Washington on the Potomac lies the an- 
cient city of Alexandria, it was settled in 1748, and called Bellha- 
ven ; in its early days it was a thriving sea port, having a large 
foreign trade, but the bright prospects of its youth were never ful- 
filled, and to-day it is chiefly noted for what " it might have been." 
To us the city looked sadly dilapidated, and the objects of interest 
were few ; the Marshall House, where Colonel Ellsworth was mur- 
dered, had nothing inviting as to its external appearance, while its 
inside was disappearing piece by piece, through the industry of relic 
gatherers. The public buildings, and many private dwellings belong- 
ing to absentee secessionists, were occupied as officers' quarters or as 
hospitals for the sick and wounded. There was one object of interest, 
however, the old Christ Episcopal church, erected in 1765, and built 
of imported brick ; in this edifice General Washington once worshiped, 
and was a member of its vestry ; his pew, prayer book, cushions, 
etc., still remained as they were at the time he last attended service. 
The church was accessible to visitors, though it occupied a some- 
what retired spot and was surrounded by a high fence. 

Among the numerous vessels lying at anchor in the stream was a 
small sloop loaded with watermelons. One of our boys decided 
that he would like to sample the luscious fruit, and formed a plan, 
which he was not slow in attempting at night, when all was quiet, 
and having posted the guard (being corporal of the guard that night), 
he went up along the shore to where an old dory was moored, this he 



116 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [August, 

untied, and, getting in, pushed off, paddling out to the sloop by means 
of a piece of board. On climbing on board he was surprised to find 
that all the melons had been placed in the hold, and the hatch down, 
under which was one end of a rope ; this led up to and over the 
boom, to which a large stone had been attached, hence, if he raised 
the hatch the stone would drop to the deck and awaken the one in 
charge of the sloop, who was supposed to be asleep in the cabin. 

Corporal W took in the situation at once, and taking hold of the 

stone cut the rope and placed it quietly upon the deck, he then noise- 
lessly raised the hatch, and selecting some of the largest melons he 
could find, put them into the dory, and reached the shoi'e in safety. 
In a short time the melons were transferred to his quarters, and the 
dory sent adrift down the stream ; and as it passed the gun-boats the 
" bang, bang " of the sentries could be heard, they having re- 
ceived no reply to their challenge, as it passed. The corporal little 
thought who were to eat those melons, for as the men were making 
their morning pots of coffee, in rolled a train heavily laden with 
wounded from the battle-field of the second Bull Run. The train 
stopped by the camp of Battery B, and, to the request of the wounded 
who asked for water or a swallow of coffee it was freely given. No 
one ever left Battery B hungry, as long as they had any rations to 
give. The corporal distributed thirteen melons among these suffer- 
ers, and their gratitude fully paid him for the trouble he had had in 
procuring them. 

Peddlers would flock to the train to sell their eatables, and one 
poor drummer boy, minus an arm, which had been left on the bat- 
tle-field, begged for an apple ; but the peddler with a basket of tempt- 
ing red apples, said, " I sell my apples, I don't give them away." 

One of the battery men, Ned G , said, " Oh, give the poor boy 

one." " Not by a d n sight," was the reply. Just then some- 
thing happened, and the peddler sat down in a most unexpected man- 
ner : the basket of apples changed hands, and the drummer boy had 
more than one apple. 

We will now return to Hampton, where we left Lieutenant Adams 
with the horses and drivers waiting for transports. To while away 
the tedious hours the men began fishing for crabs, the water was 
fairly alive with them around the dock. Strings were procured, to 
which a piece of pork, or even a piece of rag, was attached ; the 
crabs would cling to this bait, and by a quick steady pull be dexterously 
landed on the wharf; when enough had been caught two lai'ge mess 



1862.] FIRST RHODE ISLAM) LIGHT ARTILLERY. 117 

kettles were borrowed from the infantry (who were in waiting), a fire 
was soon made, and when the water was hot the crabs were thrown 
in ; twenty minutes were allowed for boiling ; then they were 
taken out. What a treat they were to us soldiers ! soft shell crabs 
upon — I was going to say toast — but no ! on hard tack, with hot 
coffee, was the bill of fare that night for supper. 

It was late in the afternoon of the 29th, when a tug-boat, with 
two schooners in tow, came up to the wharf, and Lieutenant Adams 
gave orders to get the horses on board, which was finally accom- 
plished about nine p. m. Then the tug-boat with the schooners in 
tow started out into Hampton Roads. We passed the new gun-boat 
Ironsides* near Fortress Monroe, whose lights soon faded from view 
as we sailed up the Chesapeake Bay. About ten o'clock it began to 
rain, and by midnight it was blowing a gale and raining in torrents. 
The sea was so rough that those in charge of the tug-boat had to cut 
the tow-line and let the schooners adrift in order to keep the tug 
from swamping, while those in charge of the schooners had to man- 
age as best they could. For a short time all was in confusion on the 
schooners, no sails had been set, and the two vessels were in danger 
of colliding or of being driven by the wind in shore ; but this, how- 
ever, was avoided by the sailors, who, with the help of the battery 
men, succeeded in setting the jib, and then the foresail under reef. 
The schooners were then headed for Hampton Roads, and sailing back 
at a lively rate of speed, reached our destination about eight a. m., 
August 30th, aud anchored off Fortress Monroe ; it was still blowing 
quite hard, but the rain had ceased. About ten a. jr. Lieutenant 
Adams and two sailors with a dory went ashore to report and obtain 
orders ; returning about noon. 

September 1st. The men and horses were still quartered on board 
of the schooners at anchor, and Lieutenant Adams again went ashore 
and, upon his return, brought rations of soft bread for the men ; this 
was a rarity and a treat which was greatly appreciated. 

September 2d, still found us aboard the schooners off Fortress 
Monroe awaiting orders ; Lieutenant Adams having been on shore 
every day. At noon a water-boat came alongside and filled 
the water casks of the schooners with fresh water, and just before 
sunset a propeller took the two schooners in tow and started once 
more for the Potomac River. We sailed all night and the succeed- 
ing day aud night, reaching the mouth of the Potomac early on the 
morning of the 4th, having enjoyed a pleasant sail up the 
river. It was just sunset when we anchored off Alexandria. 



118 



HISTORY OF BATTEKY B, 



[September, 



At sunrise, on the 5th, Lieutenant Adams with the drivers and 
horses disembarked, much to the gratification of the men, who were 
anxious to step on terra firma once more. Lieutenant Perry met us 
at the wharf, and, under his directions, were soon with the battery ; 
the forenoon was spent in obtaining and issuing rations and forage ; 
and in preparing the battery for a march. 

In the afternoon the battery was hitched up and the men ordered 
to their stations. Then Capt. John G. Hazard (promoted from first 
lieutenant of Battery A, First Regiment Rhode Island Light Artil- 
lery, to the command of Battery B) was introduced by Lieutenant 
Perry. The captain with the other officers inspected the battery, 
and for the third time Battery B had its full complement of officers, 
viz. : Capt. John G. Hazard commanding ; Lieutenants Perry, 
Adams, and Bloodgood, chiefs of sections ; and Lieutenant Dvvight, 
chief of caissons. A number of recruits came with Captain Haz- 
ard, viz. : George O. Bartlett, Samuel J. Goldsmith, William W. 
Pearce, Joseph B. Place, John H. Richards, and Lewis W. Scott. 




Private George McGunnigle. 



1862.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 119 



CHAPTER XI. 



PURSUIT OF GENERAL LEE INTO MARYLAND- 
BATTLE OF ANTIETAM. 

WHEN it had become clearly manifest that General Lee's 
intention was to cross the Upper Potomac, the Second, 
and General Williams's (the Twelfth) Corps, both under 
the command of General Sumner, and forming the centre of the 
army in its new dispositions, were ordered to Rockville, Md. It 
was not known for a certainty whether the enemy intended to move 
down the Potomac toward Washington, or to invade Pennsylvania; 
the subsequent progress of affairs pointed to the latter move, and for 
that reason the Second Corps was successively advanced to meet the 
situation. 

At two o'clock p. m., on the 5th, the battery, having received 
marching orders, left Alexandria and moved up to Fort Corcoran, 
opposite Washington, and bivouacked. 

At nine o'clock on the morning of the 6th, the battery took up the 
line of march with the Reserve Artillery Brigade of the Second 
Corps, which was moving along the road extending parallel with the 
Chesapeake and Ohio canal ; we crossed the Potomac River by the 
Aqueduct Bridge to Georgetown, and, passing on through Tennally- 
town, bivouacked for the night. About midnight we were routed out ; 
hitched up, and marched until sunrise of the 7th, and, after passing 
through Rockville, we encamped two miles beyond the village. 
During our stay here we received two more recruits, Alfred G, 
Gardner and Ezekiel W. Seamans. Clothing and boots were issued 
to those in need of them. Privates George R. Matteson and Wil- 
liam W. Pearce were promoted to corporals vice Napoleon B. Clarke 
and George H. Talbot, reduced to the ranks for breach of disci- 



120 history of battery b, [September,. 

pline. On the 9th, the battery continued marching until near Mid- 
dleburg where we remained for two days. 

On the 11th, we went to Clarksburg and encamped. On the 12th, 
broke camp at eight a. m. and resumed our march ; after passing 
through the hamlets of Hayattstown and Urbana we bivouacked for 
the night. Early on the morning of the 13th, we received orders to 
be in readiness to move at a moment's notice. Tents were struck, 
battery parked and hitched up ; at sunrise we broke camp, and for 
several hours moved at a lively pace. We marched through Monoe- 
acy Mills, a thriving little village, situated on the Monocacy River, 
in the midst of a fine agricultural country, and doing a flourishing 
business in grain and whiskey. The battery made a halt of two 
hours at this village, in order that the horses might be watered and 
fed, as they had had nothing since the night before. 

At noon we resumed our onward march, and crossing the Monoc- 
acy River, soon struck a broad, smooth road, which made marching 
much easier ; the road was macadamized and wide enough for three 
columns to move without interference. As we proceeded up this 
road and entered Frederick we noticed that nearly every house 
had the American flag displayed from house top, window or porch, 
and a word of welcome to the troops as they passed by. What 
could be the meaning of such strong Union demonstration ? The bat- 
tery passed on through the town about a mile and bivouacked. 

Probably no soldier who entered Frederick on the morning of 
the 13th of September, 1862, will ever forget the cordial welcome 
the rescuing army received from the loyal inhabitants. During the 
five months in which the battery, with the Second Corps, had been 
upon Virginia soil, every native white face encountered had borne an 
expression of intense hatred as " the invaders" marched through or 
encamped in a region, which, to a northern eye, was inconceivably 
desolate and forlorn, barren fields affording the only relief to the 
dreary continuity of tangled thickets and swampy bottom land. 
Here, in this rich valley of the Monocacy, shut in by low mountains 
of surpassing grace of outline, all nature was in bloom ; signs of 
comfort and opulence met the eye on every side ; and now, as the 
full ranks of Sumner's brigades, in perfect order and with all the 
pomp of war, passed through the quaint and beautiful town, 
their proud commanders and glittering staffs, and General Sum- 
ner at the head, the inhabitants responded with applause, and, 
from balcony and windows fair faces smiled, and handkerchiefs and 



1862.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 121 

scarfs waved to greet the army of the Union, as they passed along 
the streets from which, only the day before, the Confederates had been 
driven, after a brisk skirmish. 

Amid all the desolate scenes of war ; amid all that was harsh and 
terrible, in the struggle of these brave soldiers to maintain the 
Union, that bright day of Sept. 13, 1862, with its charming natural 
beauty, the quaint southern city, and that friendly greeting, formed 
a picture which can never pass from the memory of any one whose 
fortune it was to enter Frederick upon that day. 

On the morning of the 14th, the battery had time to prepare to 
march without hurrying, and moved out of camp about eight a. m. 
We passed on up into the mountain regions of Maryland, from 
whose heights, looking to the front (west), we could see the flashing- 
lights of our guns, while on the other mountain range, at Turner's 
and Fox's Gaps, could be seen the battle of South Mountain, which 
was being fought by the First Corps, General Hooker, and the 
Ninth Corps, General Reno, under command of General Bumside. 

The Second Corps, though not engaged, was in support of the at- 
tacking force on South Mountain at Turner's Gap, and passed to 
the front only at nightfall, to relieve the Ninth Corps, which had 
suffered severely in its victorious engagement of the afternoon. 

At dusk on the evening of the 14th, while the battery was waiting 
beside the National road, (the Frederick and Hagerstown turnpike), 
near the old toll gate, an ambulance passed us containing the body 
of General Reno, who had been shot by the enemy's sharpshooters 
while reconnoiterimg on the skirmish line in the vicinity of Fox's 
Gap At nine p. m. the battery was ordered to bivouac in the field 
south of the village of Bolivar. 

On the loth, about eight a. m., we marched up the mountain 
road to the heights, passed over the battle-ground, and, turning to 
the right, proceeded through Turner's Gap, by the Mountain House, 
and through Boonsboro, and Keedysville to within one mile of the 
main battle line, where we halted and bivouacked for the night. 

On the 16th, the battery was ordered up on the left, and at three 
a. m. went back through Keedysville, turned to the left, and, pass- 
ing through a meadow, halted by the woods and parked the guns, 
but the horses were kept harnessed and ready to move at a moment's 
notice ; heavy firing was heard on our right. 

On the 17th, we moved to the front about eight a. m., passed 
through a strip of woods and halted in a field, the infantry mean- 



122 history of battery b, [September, 

while going forward ; in about an hour we started on again, crossing 
the Antietam Creek, near H. F. Neikirk's house, and, going north, 
halted in a field with woods in front. The enemy's shells flew 
around us quite lively, making it necessary to change our position 
several times ; we finally moved to a field with woods on each side 
and in front, and although this position was frequently shelled, we 
were fortunate in not having any casualties. Between twelve and 
one p. m. there was heavy musketry firing in our front, which lasted 
for some time, then there was a lull, followed by renewed firing fur- 
ther down on the left, then all was quiet again, with occasional 
picket firing. Quite a number of prisoners had been taken, and 
were under guard in the woods near us. In the afternoon the bat- 
tery was ordered to the front to relieve Battery G, First New York, 
Capt. J. D. Frank. We proceeded to the battle-field of Antietam, 
taking position in battery, a little to the left and rear of D. R. Miller's 
house, on the Hagerstown turnpike. This situation was anything but 
desirable, as the odor from the dead horses lying around was nearly 
suffocating. 

A few of the remaining hours of the afternoon were spent in 
straightening and strengthening the line, and gathering those who 
had become scattered ; in issuing ammunition to the troops in line, 
and, in some instances, bringing forward fresh batteries to replace 
those which had become partially disabled in the recent engage- 
ments. The men bivouacked on the field, guns in position, in readi- 
ness to move forward at any moment ; while all around lay the slain 
Unionists and Confederates. 

The crash and roar of battle from Burnside's position, away down 
oh the left, raised our highest expectations. At intervals the artil- 
lery broke out into a furious cannonading, while here and there some 
ambitious battery commanders tested the range of their guns and 
the skill of their cannoneers, in a duel across the crouching lines of 
infantry. Among the galloping staffs, which crossed that bloody field 
in the early afternoon, was one whose notable bearing held the gaze 
of the men as it passed down the line from right to left. At its head 
rode a general whose magnificent physique, commanding air and 
splendid horsemanship were well calculated to impress the beholder ; 
while behind him rode as dashing a group of aids-de-camp as ever 
graced a battle-field. The leader is the noble Hancock, sent in haste 
from his brigade of the Sixth Corps, to take command of the First 
Division of the Second Corps, at whose head the gallant Richardson 




Antietam, Sept. 17, 1862. 



1862.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 123 

had fallen, never again to mount horse or draw sword in the defense 
of his country. 

It is not amid the pomp of a review, with playing bands and well 
ordered lines ; but on the trampled battle-field, strewn with bloody 
stretchers, amid the dead and dying, and the wounded limping or 
crawling to the rear ; and with shells shrieking through the air, that 
Hancock comes to meet and greet the brave regiments he is to lead 
in a score of battles. While Hancock drew his sword for the first 
time in the Second Corps, another brave general was being carried 
bleeding from the field, mourning a personal loss in his gallant rela- 
tive and staff-officer, who was killed at his side; and suffering even 
a deeper and dearer loss in the broken battalions that had been the 
pride of his heart. 

It is Sedgwick leaving the Second Corps, to become, upon his re- 
covery, the beloved leader of the Sixth ; often in the crisis of some hard 
fought battle he would bring his new command to the succor and 
support of his old corps ; always greeting them with a hearty kind- 
ness, whether in camp or on the march. Gen. O. O. Howard suc- 
ceeded General Sedgwick to the command of the Second Division. 

During the engagements of the battle of Antietam, it was the for- 
tune of Battery B to be in the reserve of the Second Corps, on the 
field, ready for service, but not called into action ; several of the men 
improving the opportunity went through a woods to the ridge, and 
witnessed a portion of the engagement. The battle array, with fly- 
ing banners, gleaming bayonets, and countless hosts moving in every 
direction, was a grand spectacle, while the steady roar of musketry 
and the loud pealing of the artillery, spoke in unmistakable language 
of the determined spirit in which assaults were being made and re- 
sisted. The ablest generals of both sides led the flower of the Union 
and rebel armies to almost hand-to hand encounter, and by the set- 
ting of the sun the fate of one would be decided. Henceforth An- 
tietam will be known as the scene of indomitable courage and tri- 
umph of the Union arms. 

However magnificent a battle may appear to a spectator, posted at 
a safe distance, when over, an inspection of the field dissipates the 
illusion, and the shocking details of carnage speak more emphatically 
than words can express of its sanguinary fruits. Let us take a 
closer survey, now that the flag of truce is flying. Here are the 
mangled remains of a noble fellow who was in the front rank during 
the charge ; a cannon ball has carried away the upper part of his head, 



124 history qf battery b, [September, 

he doubtless never knew what hurt him. There lies one pierced 
through the heart by a bullet, he fell face downward, still holding his 
musket in the strong grasp of death. These heaps of dead bodies tell 
of the fatal effect of our artillery, as it poured an enfilading fire upon 
an advancing column of the rebels. This ditch, used as a rifle-pit, 
and strewn with men sunk in the sleep that knows no waking, shows 
with what certain aim the leaden messengers were sent among them. 

Near that solitary house, shaded by a neighboring wood, stands a 
caisson, and around it lay, as they have fallen, the bodies of >ix 
Confederate artillerymen ; a faithful horse shot in the traces mingles 
his blood with theirs ; and forms a group not easily to be forgotten. 
Close beside yonder fence where they fell, lie a number of men belong- 
ing to a Louisiana regiment which had been sorely pressed ; their 
spirits have fled, gone where the cannon's roar is never heard, " and 
gory sabres rise and fall " no more. Here is a barn, now used as a 
temporary hospital, and crowded with the victims of the day ; while 
lying upon the ground outside are many of the wounded, imperfectly 
protected from the elements, waiting to receive the surgeon's atten- 
tion. Their shelter is now of the rudest kind ; but later those 
who chance to survive will fare better. 

The question is occasionally asked, how does one feel in battle? 
The testimony of the bravest is, that at the commencement of a fight 
a certain trepidation is experienced, which soon wears off; but to 
stand unconcernedly before an imposing force in the face of death 
and abide the calm that precedes the first flash of artillery or the 
first volley of musketry, thinking of home and the possibilities of 
the hour, requires some nerve. The man who trembles when he 
first hears " the death-shot hissing from afar," is not to be branded 
a coward ; for though he may be as brave as Cresar, his blood will 
quicken, his heart throb faster, and through his whole frame " some 
sense of shuddering " be perceptible. But soon after the opening 
of an engagement the spell is broken, that strange and indescribable 
sensation, passes away ; and as the clamor and wild excitement of 
the battle increases he becomes oblivious of danger, and even finds 
in the last exploding shell or the patter of Minies a subject for jest. 

The battery remained in position on the line of battle near Miller's 
house all day of the 18th. While a flag of truce belonging to the 
enemy was seen floating in the breeze down on the right near a 
cornfield ; the privilege had been granted them to succor their 
wounded and bury their dead. All is quiet on our front, but firing 



18G2.] FIRST RHODK ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 125 

was heard some distance off' on the right. In the afternoon quite a 
smart shower of rain passed over ns, cooling the air a little, 
and lessened the stench arising from the dead horses. Fatigue par- 
ties of both armies are out between the two lines of skirmishers. 
There was not much work for our party, as about all the dead or 
wounded which lay between the lines belonged to the rebels. 

Thus the day closes, and night shuts in the scene of carnage, leav- 
ing many thousand men, helpless and bathed in blood upon the field, 
to watch for the return of light, and wait for removal and the dress- 
ing of their wounds. Who can imagine the suffering of that night, 
and the work for the surgeons on the morrow ? 

On the morning of the 19th, at sunrise, there was a general bustle 
of activity among the troops in our front, caused by orders received 
for a general advauce of our lines. Skirmishers were thrown well 
out to the front followed by the main line ; then it was discovered 
that the enemy had retreated and there was no one to oppose our ad- 
vance. Under cover of a flag of truce, the rebel commander had 
withdrawn his troops from Antietam to the Potomac River ; and 
General Lee's intended invasion of Pennsylvania was abandoned in 
consequence of the terrible losses sustained at South Mountain and 
Antietam. 

At noon the battery was withdrawn from the main line of battle, 
and, passing through a strip of woods reached a clearing where it 
encamped on a ridge beside a small ravine, through which ran a 
small stream of clear sparkling water ; this was gladly and freely 
used by the men for laundry purposes, hoping to enjoy the luxury of 
a clean shirt. 

Broke camp on the morning of the 22d, after an encampment of 
three days, and started for Virginia. Marching along the Hagers- 
town turnpike, we soon reached Sharpsburg. This town, not long 
since, was a charming settlement of some 1,500 inhabitants, but 
now presented a dirty, dilapidated appearance ; scarcely a house or 
barn having escaped the effects of shell and musketry. Here and 
there a dwelling had been pierced by a ten-pound Parrott shot, or a 
chimney-top unceremoniously knocked into the street, and many 
other evidences of destruction, anticipating the waste of all-devour- 
ing years. Such is war. Passing on we crossed the Antietam 
Creek at the Old Furnace, and proceeded to Maryland Heights, 
where we went into camp. 

On the 25th, left the Heights and marched to Sandy Hook, forded 



126 history ok battery b, [October ,- 

the Potomac River to Harper's Ferry and proceeded to Bolivar 
Heights, where we went into camp just beyond our old camping 
ground of last March. The troops of the Second Corps occupied 
Bolivar Heights, while the Twelfth Corps, General Williams's, en- 
camped at Sandy Hook and Harper's Ferry. Both corps were under 
the command of General Sumner. 

The President's "Proclamation of Emancipation " was issued 
September 22d, three days after the withdrawal of General Lee's 
army to Virginia ; and officially communicated to the Union army 
on September 24th ; the battery received the news while at Bolivar 
Heights, on the afternoon of September 25th. 

October 1st. The monotony of camp life was broken by orders 
to prepare for inspection. There was unusual activity and commo- 
tion among the troops upon hearing that President Lincoln was at 
headquarters. In the afternoon, during a mounted inspection by our 
captain, John G. Hazard, the President, General McClellan and 
General Sumner with their full staffs, rode through our camp and 
passed the battery on a tour of inspection, after which we were 
dismissed, and passes given to visit old familiar places. It was 
freely rumored at the time that the President visited the Army 
of the Potomac for the purpose of seeing for himself, if, as General 
McClellan represented, the army was in no condition to pursue Gen- 
eral Lee's forces into Virginia. 

On the 6th, broke camp, and moving to the government grounds 
at Bolivar, encamped, and resumed the usual routine of drill and 
discipline, cleaning equipments, inspection, and visiting friends in 
other commands. We were encamped upon these same grounds 
during the previous March. 

On the evening of the 8th a change was made by the signing of 
the muster-rolls, every one was happy and smiling ; the paymaster was 
coming, and we were expecting to receive our four months' pay. 

On the 9th the paymaster arrived, and each received the full 
amount due him for the months of May, June, July and August. 
This was harvest time for the sutlers, for though the men grumbled 
at the exorbitant prices demanded, they nevertheless indulged in 
such luxuries as molasses cookies, ten for a quarter, butter and 
cheese sixty to eighty cents a pound, and invariably a very small 
pound, while condensed milk was fifty cents per pound can. 

In the afternoon we were notified of General Sumner's leave of 
absence, and that General Couch was to take command of the Sec- 
ond Corps, to which the battery was attached. 



1862.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 127 

On the 12th of October, First Lieut. Raymond H. Perry's resig- 
nation was accepted, and he left the battery, going home to Rhode 
Island. In the afternoon the battery had a mounted inspection by 
Captain Hazard. First Lieut. G. W. Adams took command of the 
right section, First Lieut. H. S. Bloodgood of the left section, and 
Second Lieut. G. L. Dwight the centre section. After the inspec- 
tion the captain complimented the men on their fine appearance. 

On the 16th, the battery receiving orders, was hitched up, to be 
ready to move at a moment's notice ; remained so for two hours, 
when we were ordered to unhitch and sent to quarters, our ser- 
vices not being required. 

The only episode which interrupted the pleasant monotony of rest 
and recruiting of the Second Corps after the fatigues of the Manas- 
sas and Antietam campaigns, was a reconnaisance conducted by Gen- 
eral Hancock with the First Division up the Valley of the Shenan- 
doah to Charlestown, with the view of discovering whether the 
enemy were there in force. This reconnaissance developed nothing ; 
they found only cavalry supporting a battery, which was handled by 
a captain of remarkable merit, who defended his position with great 
daring and tenacity against a superior weight of fire, only yielding 
ground to an actual advance of our infantry. The brave fellow 
was afterward found minus a foot, in a house near Charles- 
town, when our troops occupied that place. This officer was Capt. 
B. H. Smith, Jr., of the Richmond Howitzer Battalion. 

On the 29th, renewed life and activity was manifested by the troops 
upon receiving orders to prepare and cook three days' extra rations 
to be carried in the haversacks. Prospects of a move at last. 



128 history of battery b, [October, 



CHAPTER XII 



MARCH TO FALMOUTH — SKIRMISHES BY THE WAY. 

IN pursuance with repeated and urgent requests from the War 
Department, General McClellan, after a halt of five weeks, set 
the Army of the Potomac in motion, the Second Corps taking 
the lead, followed by the rest of the army. On the morning of Oc- 
tober 30th, the infantry of the Second Corps crossed the Shenandoah 
River, and, marching around the base of Loudon Heights, entered 
the valley in the vicinity of Hill's Grove ; then continuing the ad- 
vance it moved along the Blue Ridge Mountains, and occupied suc- 
cessively the several passes over the mountains westward to the line 
of march, in pursuance with general orders and under favorable 
weather, this was remarkable from the fact, that, during the summer 
and early autumn, there was almost a daily contest between sunshine 
and rain. Midday warmth would be followed at night by a sudden 
downward slide of the mercury, chilling the blood to the marrow, 
and preparing many an incautious one for an attack* of typhoid de- 
lirium, or for the Society of Shakers. Successive changes of driz- 
zle, rain and piercing winds from the mountains would be followed 
by a day of soft, genial atmosphere and as beautiful moonlight night 
as ever illuminated our own Christian Hill, or scattered sparkling 
gems upon the ruffled bosom of Narragansett Bay. 

On the morning of October 30th, Captain Hazard received orders 
to have his battery ready to move at noon ; although anticipated, 
this order made us realize more fully the pleasant life this camp had 
afforded us. We had tarried at no place, since leaving our winter 
quarters at Poolesville, Md., better adapted to the enjoyment of army 
life. It was in close proximity to railroads connected with the 
north, and luxuries could be obtained in abundance, while its mail 



1862.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 129 

facilities were another source of pleasure, which we knew must be 
sacrificed when we moved. The magnificent mountain scenery at 
sunrise added much to its grandeur and attractiveness as an abode 
for man, weary and in want of rest. 

Leaving Bolivar at one p. m., we bade farewell to our old camp, 
and, moving down through Harper's Ferry turned to the right, pass- 
ing along the bank of the Shenandoah to the Old Foundry, then 
crossing the river on a pontoon bridge, we wound along the base of 
Loudon Heights through the valley to the Leesburg road, and halted 
at Vestal's Gap, where we encamped near the little hamlet of 
Neersville, remaining here nearly two days. 

On the afternoon of the 31st, the muster rolls were made out for 
September and October. 

On the morning of November 1st, the troops were again active, 
and at noon the battery broke camp, moving along the mountain 
road, which being hilly and somewhat stony, made many of our 
horses footsore. After passing Hillsborough (a small post town), 
the battery was placed in position on the edge of a level open field 
facing southwest, and bivouacked. A.11 was quiet during the 
night, and the battery remained in position until nine o'clock 
A. m. of the 2d, when the march was resumed at a slow pace along 
the mountain roads of the Blue Ridge. At noon a halt of an hour 
was made, that we might make some coffee, after which we again 
marched onward until six p. m., when we halted on a thrifty looking 
farm ; its flourishing condition indicated that thus far it had escaped 
the ravages of the army ; and the order to park the battery and 
encamp here for the night was hailed with delight by the men ; the 
officers' mess was not the only one that boasted chicken and potatoes 
for breakfast the next morning. 

At an early hour, on the morning of the 3d, the battery was or- 
dered to prepare for a move, but it was eight o'clock before we left 
our camping ground to follow the van. Having a good road Ave did 
not halt until noon to make our coffee, after which we continued our 
march until a halt was ordered at seven o'clock, just as we were 
getting ready to encamp, the pieces and caissons were ordered to the 
front on a trot ; the firing of our advance guard was heard as we 
drew near to where our division was drawn up in line of battle. 
The battery was ordered to take position in the open fields on rising 
ground, and, placing the guns in battery prepared for action, but did 
not open fire. From our position we could distinctly see our skir- 



130 history of battery b, [November, 

mishers advance, then halt, fire, load, and advance again, while lit- 
tle clouds of smoke from their muskets would arise, circling in the 
air. To those that were watching and saw their manoeuvering (at 
least to us battery men), it was a novel sight. It was not a drill 
with an imaginary enemy, but one with the real foe as adversaries, 
and our men's skill showed the result of their training. The enemy 
retreated as our skirmishers entered the wood in pursuit and were 
soon lost to view. 

The enemy thus encountered was a battalion of cavalry, Colonel 
Ashby's men, who were out raiding and trying to get at our wagon 
trains. They had been cut off from the mountain gap by the unex- 
pected arrival of our advance ; they exchanged a few shots with our 
skirmishers and then retreated, trying to gain Snicker's Gap. For- 
tunately, however, the raiders were intercepted by G-eneral Pleasan- 
ton's cavalry, which was guarding the passage to the gap, and the men 
at the muzzle of their carbines ordered the raiders as they rode up 
to halt and become their guests and take a trip north as prisoners of 
war. 

At sunset the battery limbered up and advanced to Snicker's Gap, 
bivouacking near the little hamlet of S nickers ville, Aye remained 
here until noon of the 3d, when we broke camp and marched through 
Bloomfield and Upperville, where the advancing column had an ar- 
tillery duel with Stuart's mounted cavalry battery, which was moving 
towards the mountains to escape through Ashby's Gap. 

The battery, with General Howard's division, proceeded to Ash- 
by's Gap and encamped at Paris, where we remained for two days, 
and heard the following episode relating to our chief of artillery : 

The night of November 4th was cold and gloomy. 'General Couch 
had an inveterate aversion to making his headquarters in a house, 
greatly preferring the benignant shelter of a Virginia rail fence. On 
this occasion, however, it being very probable that frequent dis- 
patches would be sent and received, General Couch gave Capt. C. 
H. Morgan, his chief of artillery, permission to select a house for 
headquarters. Delighted at this concession to the bodily infirmities 
of the staff, Morgan galloped gayly into the yard of a spacious man- 
sion on the outskirts of the village. Here was an old man, evidently 
the proprietor, who appeared somewhat shaken by the recent artillery 
fire and pistol shots of the cavalry. "Good evening," said Mor- 
gan. " Good evening," responded the owner. " General Couch pro- 
poses to make his headquarters at your house to-night — that is, if 



1862.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 131 

you have no objection." Now, the old man had a great many ob- 
jections, but did not dare to state them ; he, however, began at once 
to make excuses, saying, " Of course he should be delighted to have 
the general with him, but was afraid he could not make him com- 
fortable : perhaps the general had better go where he could be better 
accommodated." " But," said Morgan, " you have a large house." 
This fact could not be denied, and the luckless proprietor had to ad- 
mit that the house was commodious. " But," lie added eagerly, " I 
have a large family." k ' Well, now," asked Morgan, " what fam- 
ily have you got?" " In the first place," said the old gentleman, 
"I have three nieces." " Say not another word; we'll take the 
house," Morgan replied. The general and his staff did establish 
themselves in the house, and three saucier vixens could hardly be 
found in all rebeldom than those three maidens, was the verdict from 
our chief of artillery. 

On the 6th, the battery left Paris, and after moving in a south- 
easterly course turned to the west, passing through a small village 
of four or five houses and as many barns. At the corner of the 
roads was a blacksmith shop, if such it might be called, consisting 
of a forge covered by a shed of three sides. This hamlet had the 
romantic name of Kerfoot. Here the battery halted and bivouacked. 
The left section, under Lieutenant Bloodgood, was sent out to the 
right on picket, guarding the road which led to Manassas Gap. 

On the 7th, upon the return of the left section from picket, the 
battery moved near to Rectortown and bivouacked. The right sec- 
tion, under Lieutenant Adams, was sent back on picket to guard 
the road by which we came. While halted at Rectortown, General 
Sumner returned and rejoined the army, but did not assume com- 
mand of his old corps (the Second), for the scheme of forming 
" grand divisions," consisting of two corps each, having been de- 
termined upon, the veteran (Sumner) was selected for one of these 
higher commands. 

It was while the troops were here encamped, on the night of the 
7th, that the order from Washington was received at the head- 
quarters of the army, which permanently relieved General McClel- 
lan from the command of the Army of the Potomac, and Gen. A. 
E. Burnside was placed in command. 

While the battery lay at Rectortown we had a mounted inspection ; 
forty-five horses were condemned and turned in to the quartermas- 
ter's department as unserviceable. During the day it snowed enough 
to cover the ground ; it was very cold and disagreeable. 



132 history of battery b, [November, 

On the 8th, leaving the right section on picket, the battery re- 
sumed the march and passed a short distance beyond Rectortown, 
where it halted until sunset, to allow the wagon trains to pass and 
get out of the way, then we continued our march until midnight, 
when we encamped at the little village of Vernon Mills. Early on 
the morning of the 9th, the right section rejoined the battery and we 
started on again. The very bad condition of the roads necessitated 
slow traveling, and we were obliged to borrow horses from Battery 
A, First Rhode Island Light Artillery, to help us along, as our 
number was limited. In this way we passed through Warrentown, 
and encamped about a mile beyond the village. 

On the 10th, the weather was warm and pleasant, and the battery, 
with the Second Division of the Second Corps, was ordered to turn 
out to bid farewell to Gen. George B. McClellan. 

The three divisions of the Second Corps, were drawn up on the 
left side of the Centreville Pike, at Warrenton, in columns of regi- 
ments at intervals, affording sufficient space for the artillery. On 
the right of the pike stood the Fifth Corps in a similar formation. 
Between those two gallant corps, so long his comrades, slowly and 
sadly rode their beloved chief, taking a last farewell ; every heart of 
the thirty thousand was filled with love and grief; every voice raised 
in shouts expressive of devotion and loyalty to one whose presence 
had ever inspired them with courage and confidence. 

In general, the battery was in good condition during the march 
from Harper's Ferry along the east slope of the Blue Ridge Moun- 
tains to Rectortown, only one exception need be mentioned. 

A distressing hoof disease caused much trouble among the horses, 
and grew more and more serious as the army advanced, until at 
Rectortown and "Warrenton both cavalry and artillery were to a great 
extent disabled. The quartermaster's service was not proportionally 
so disturbed, the tough mules resisting the conditions, whatever they 
might be, that favored the extension of the pest. From one battery 
alone in the corps sixty horses out of 119 had to be turned in as use- 
less, and in Battery B forty-five out of 114. So prevalent did this 
become, that many guns were sent back to Washington by rail, be- 
ing returned when enough serviceable animals were obtained to draw 
them. During this march an epidemic attacked, not the horses this 
time, but the men ; its name was mutton. 

On the Peninsula no mutton had been discovered, and, during the 
march to Antietam, our men had scrupulously respected the loyalty 



1862.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 13o 

of the Western Marylanders. But upon the appearance of some fat 
fleecy sheep upon Virginia soil, discipline for the moment gave way, 
at least in a degree, to tempting mutton. At first forays were made 
only at night, but soon the raids went beyond bounds. In vain did 
officers storm and swear, and in vain even did the provost guard of 
one division (the Second), turn about and fire ball-cartridges at the 
fellows who deliberately left the ranks to go after mutton. 

The commanding general was enraged ; he instructed each divis- 
ion commander to assemble a court-martial for the trial of these 
offenders ; consequently every evening, after going into camp, three 
courts were in session in the Second Corps, with sheep-killing sub- 
jects. Sharp and summary were the punishments inflicted ; but all 
to no purpose, — the killing went on just the same. Of the three 
division commanders, General Hancock, of the First, was peculiarly 
sensitive to the slightest imputation of indiscipline. One day as the 
head of the column was feeling its way on the advance, and was 
nearing one of the gaps in the mountain range, infantry skirmishers 
were sent out, as the rebels were thought to be in the vicinity. Soon 
the men were seen running to and fro along a fence ; then they ap- 
peared to be running to the rear. Their manoeuvres amazed and 
perplexed the commanding general who had just rode up to the head 
of the troops, and turning to the colonel in command said, " Col- 
onel, what is the meaning of this, your men are running to the rear, 
have they struck the enemy ? Your skirmishers are being driven in 
by the rebs." The colonel answered, " Sir, my men never run from 
a rebel." Making a closer observation through his glass, the 
colonel saw his men running this way and that, and instantly mut- 
tered, " Enemy ! the rebs be d d ! it is a d d flock of sheep 

they are after ! " There was a well attended court-martial that 
evening. 

Upon another occasion some men of the same brigade, having 
fallen out of ranks, upon some pretense, were observed by General 
Hancock to steal around a bit of woods, manifestly bound on plun- 
der ; determining to make an example of them, he left the column, 
accompanied by his staff", and, galloping rapidly around the woods 
from the opposite side, surprised the group gathered around an un- 
fortunate victim about to be sacrificed. 

Some of those whose attention was less closely engaged in the 
prospective slaughter, caught a glimpse of the coming doom in time 
to climb over a high fence and escape ; but upon the principal offender 



134 history of- battery b, [November, 

the general pounced with drawn sword and eyes flashing fire. Down 
on his knees went the thoroughly frightened transgressor. "Arrah, 
dear gineral, don't be the death of me ; I didn't do it, indade I 
didn't," cried the soldier. " You infernal liar ! " shouted the gen- 
eral, "what do you mean by telling me that?. I saw you, you 
scoundrel ! I'll teach you to disobey orders ! I'll teach you to kill 
sheep ! " At the close of this tirade the general flourished his sword 
as if about to begin execution ; when, in the most opportune mo- 
ment, up jumped the innocent subject of this controversy, and giving 
vent to its feeling in a quavering ba-a-a, ran off; while, amid the 
shouts of the staff, the general put up his sword and rode away. 
We may firmly believe that the Irishman was hardly less pleased 
than the sheep. Let us hope that the scare he got destroyed his ap- 
petite for mutton, and that he returned forevermore to his native 
pork. 

In the afternoon of the 10th, Captain Hazard sent a detail of men, 
under the command of Lieutenant Adams, with the quartermaster, 
to the railroad station ; they returned with forty-five new horses for 
the battery, by whose addition it was again fully equipped and in 
marching trim. The army has again been reorganized, this time 
into grand divisions. The battery is still with the Second Division 
of the Second Corps, Right Grand Division. We remained en- 
camped near Warrenton until the 14th of November, when march- 
ing orders were received. 

On the 15th of November, the battery again broke camp and took 
up the line of march, moving with the division back through War- 
renton, and, turning in a southeasterly direction crossed the Owl 
Run and Virginia Midland Railroad, above Midland Station, and 
halted at Elk Run, where we bivouacked for the night. 

On the 16th, the battery made an early start leaving camp just 
before six a. m., the morning was cloudy and air raw and chilly. 
Passing through several small villages, we finally halted on an open 
plain and encamped for the night. Left camp at eight a. m. on the 
morning of the 17th, and continued our march in a southeasterly di- 
rection until the middle of the afternoon when we halted. All long 
range gun batteries were then ordered to the front. Heavy cannon- 
ading had been heard for some time in the direction of the Rappa- 
hannock River, to which place the batteries had been ordered. 

On the 19th, the Ninth Corps marched by the battery's encamp- 
ment going in an easterly direction toward the river. The battery 



1862.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 135 

broke camp on the morning of the 20th, and moving eastward about 
two or three miles halted in a deep ravine and went into camp. The 
troops were moving in all directions, changing their camping 
grounds, locating picket stations along the river bank, and building 
earthworks. This bustling scene indicated that the army was going 
into winter quarters. 

On November 5th, Second Lieut. Joseph S. Milne, promoted from 
sei-geant of Battery E, First Regiment Rhode Island Light Artillery, 
reported to our battery for duty, and was assigned chief of caissons. 

On the 26th, we had a battery inspection by Captain Hazard, and 
everything was found to be in fighting trim. 

November 27th was Thanksgiving Day in Rhode Island. To a 
soldier in the field one day was the same as another, Sundays not 
excepted, for when not fighting we had drill and inspection of equip- 
ments and quarters ; and after the regular camp duties were over we 
found no Thanksgiving dinner of roast turkey and accompaniments, 
mince pie, plum-pudding, etc., awaiting our inspection. No! the 
soldier knocking at the enemy's door may be thankful if, after a 
hard fight, or a long and fatiguing march, he secures a pot of coffee 
and a few hard-tack to satisfy his empty stomach. A piece of salt 
pork or salt junk in addition was considered a great treat. 

To-day, Second Lieut. G. L Dvvight received a commission as 
first lieutenant, and was transferred to Battery-A, First Regiment 
Rhode Island Light Artillery. 

On the 20th, the drivers were drilled in harnessing and hitching 
up the horses and battery in readiness to move ; they accomplished 
the feat in ten minutes and thirty-seven seconds from the time the 
bugler blew " Boots and saddles" call; this was considered very 
quick time. 

On December 1st, Quartermaster Sergt. William S. Dyer, who 
had been ill a long time, received his discharge for disability and 
left for Rhode Island. Sergt. Charles A. Libbey, who had been 
acting as quartermaster sergeant pro tern., was promoted to that po- 
sition. Corp. Anthony B. Horton was promoted to sergeant, and 
Private John Delevan to corporal. 

On the 2d, the battery broke camp and, leaving the ravine, moved 
toward the river to a hill covered with woods in the rear of Fal- 
mouth, Va., which was opposite the north part of the city of Fred- 
ericksburg. The men were now kept quite busy building huts for 
winter quarters, and a stockade to shelter the horses ; in cutting 



136 history of battery b, [December, 

down trees, digging out stumps, and clearing a place in which to 
park the guns and caissons. 

On the 9th, Second Lieut. William S. Perrin, having been pro- 
moted from sergeant in Battery C, First Regiment Rhode Island 
Light Artillery, reported to our battery for duty and was assigned 
chief of centre section. 

On the 10th, Captain Hazard inspected the battery ; the men were 
in good spirits, and the equipments in excellent condition. In the 
afternoon three days' rations were issued to be kept in the haver- 
sacks, which meant that a movement might be expected at any 
time ; and, later in the day, at retreat roll call, the following circular 
from headquarters was read to the men : 

Headquarters Second Division, Second Corps, 

Dec. 10, 1862. 
Officers and Soldiers of the Second Division : 

I am expecting to command you in another battle very soon, and I am 
exceedingly anxious for you to do well. If we succeed in the coming 
battle, and I believe we shall succeed, our work will be well nigh over, 
and we may soon return to our coveted homes. 

With what joy, with what pride, will be our welcome among those 
friends who are so eagerly watching our course, provided we shall have 
faithfully performed our part. I earnestly entreat every officer and man 
to do his best to make this the decisive battle of the war. 

At Antietam it is said we gave way. I have endeavored to shield you 
from blame. On the Rappahannock our conduct must be above re- 
proach. 

Stand by your country, stand by your colors with unflinching con- 
stancy, and by the blessing of God a complete \ictory will be your re- 
ward. 

[Official.] (Signed,) 

O. O. HOWARD, 
Brig. Gen. Commanding. 
H. M. Stinson, Lieut, and A. D. C. 




u >~ 



Lieut. William S. Perrin. 



1862.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 137 



CHAPTER XIII. 



BATTLE OF FREDERICKSBURG. 

IN anticipation of the pending engagement, the Second Corps, on 
December 9th, was reinforced by five large, new regiments of 
infantry. Four being of the nine months' class lacked experi- 
ence, but were composed of excellent material and good officers. 
On the evening of the 10th, General Hunt, chief of artillery of 
the Army of the Potomac, began to occupy the left bank of the 
Rappahannock with batteries in order to cover the crossing of the 
two columns. The whole river side thus became one vast battery ; 
one hundred and forty-seven pieces having been put into position. 
Though the troops, generally, had gone to rest with no premonition 
of the coming battle, headquarters were alive with the work of 
preparation, and before daybreak the troops were called to arms. In 
silence and in darkness the several divisions were concentrated 
around the different places whence they were to cross the river. 

On December 11th, reveille was sounded an hour before sunrise 
with orders to prepare breakfast as soon as possible. The battery 
was hitched up, and left camp under light marching orders just after 
sunrise in the following order, Capt. John G. Hazard in command ; 
First Lieut. George W. Adams, in command of right section ; 
First Lieut. Horace S. Bloodgood, in command of left section ; 
Second Lieut. William S. Perrin, in command of centre section ; 
Second Lieut. Joseph S. Milne, in command of caissons. Moving 
south toward the river, we halted under cover of the hills, near the 
Lacy House. Here was massed all of the Second Division of the 
Second Corps, while other troops were still moving further south, 
and some batteries going east. Infantry firing could be heard ap- 
parently from in front of the Lacy House, and was at times quite 
heavy ; we learned that it came from the enemy's sharpshooters, who 
were opposing the laying of the pontoon bridge. 



138 history qf cattery b, [December, 

About 9.30 a. M., we moved to the east and front, and were placed 
in position in battery on a bluff to the right of the Lacy House, 
overlooking the city of Fredericksburg, Va., and in line with the 
other batteries of the corps. As soon as the light fog hanging over 
the river began to rise, men could be seen moving about the town 
and on the river bank. The Engineer Corps (men of the Fifteenth 
and Fiftieth New York Regiments) were still trying to put down 
the pontoon bridge by which the troops were to cross. They had 
been at work since early morning, but so far had made very little 
progress on account of the enemy's sharpshooters. At noon, how- 
ever, the order was given for all the batteries to shell and burn the 
city in order to dislodge the enemy, the shelling of the morning 
having failed to do so. 

About 12.30 p. m., Battery B opened a rapid fire which was con- 
tinued for about an hour then slackened, and sighting more carefully 
would send a shot through the gable of a house, the steeple of a 
church, or the top of a tree, in fact, at any objective point where a 
shot would prove effective. It is impossible to fitly describe the ef- 
fects of this iron hailstorm hurled into the town. The roar of the 
cannon, the bursting of shells, the falling of walls and chimneys ; 
added to the fire of the infantry on both sides, the smoke from 
the guns and burning houses, made a scene of the wildest con- 
fusion, terrific enough to appall the stoutest hearts. Under cover of 
this bombardment, the engineers made another unsuccessful attempt 
to finish the bridge, the enemy again interfering. Finally, the Sev- 
enth Michigan and Nineteenth Massachusetts Regiments crossed the 
river in pontoon boats, and drove the enemy's sharpshooters from the 
rifle-pits and cellars along the bank, and advanced up into the town 
thus gaining the lower streets. Then, and not until then, were the 
engineers successful, completing the bridge about sunset. 

The battery remained in position on the bluff" all day, but at dark 
withdrew under cover of the hill, here we parked and the men 
bivouacked lor the night. The ammunition chests were refilled, as 
we had used about one-half of our supply of 786 rounds. 

On the morning of the 12th, about six a. m., the battery left its 
camping ground and moved circuitously to the river side in front of 
the Lacy House, and at seven a. m. crossed the pontoon bridge into 
Fredericksburg, and turning to the left halted on the bank near the 
river in column of sections, where we remained all day and bivou- 
acked at night. Battery B was the first battery of the Right Grand 



1862.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 139 

Division to cross the pontoon bridge. We found the buildings had 
been badly shattered by our shot and shell, which had shown no res- 
pect for stone, brick or wood, but had left their marks wherever they 
chanced to strike. In one instance a shell took a musical course ; 
entering a house it struck the back right hand corner of a piano, and, 
passing through it diagonally over the sounding-board cut about 
every string ; it then passed out at the left hand front corner, arwl, enter- 
ing the next room, exploded, shattering the furniture into kindlings. 
Beautiful and costly paintings with rich mouldings shared the same 
fate. 

On the morning of the 13th, we busied ourselves in making coffee 
by fires which we tried to conceal from the enemy's view, so as not 
to draw their fire on us. About ten o'clock a. m. Captain Hazard 
received orders to move up into the city. AVe left the river bank in 
column of pieces, the caisson at the rear, and marched up into the 
town and halted on Caroline Street awaiting further orders. The 
carelessness with which the enemy threw shot and shell into the city 
compelled us to change our position several times to escape the range 
of their fire. During the forenoon there was heard, at a distance 
down on the left, heavy musketry firing, and at intervals some cannon- 
ading ; while in the afternoon it commenced pretty sharp in our 
front. 

About 3.45 p. M. an officer was seen in earnest conversation with 
our captain ; then we received the order of "At-ten-tion ! drivers 
and cannoneers ! mount, forward, trot, march ! " and away we went 
down Caroline Street, turning to the right into Hanover Street ; 
passed Battery A in position on our left, at the outskirts of the city, 

who saluted us with " There goes Battery B to h 11 ! " Taking 

no notice of their salute we proceeded on the double quick, going 
toward the Heights ; the troops of General Gorman's old brigade 
gave us hearty cheers as we passed. 

By orders, Lieutenant Milne led the caissons into a field at the left 
of the road and parked in the rear of the canal. The pieces, led 
by Captain Hazard, continued up the road to within a short range 
of the enemy's line ; the left and centre sections were ordered into 
position on rising ground, to the left of the road, while the right sec- 
tion, under Lieut. G. W. Adams, was advanced about thirty yards 
and took position in the road, right piece a little ahead of the other, 
and opened fire upon the enemy's rifle-pits at the foot of the hills, 
sending shot and shell in quick succession. 



140 history of battery B, [December, 

The sixth piece was the first to open fire after taking position, and 
Joseph Luther received a bad wound in the hip ; next Corp. W. P. 
Wells was hit in the foot, then Lewis W. Scott was knocked over, and 
Michael Duffy's wheel horses were shot dead. William T. Jordan's 
horses met the same fate, as also did John Richards's and Clark 
Woodmansee's. M. Carmichael was hit by a spent ball in the groin, 
which laid him up, and one knocked William H. Cornell over. 
Corp. C. W. Rathbone received a bad wound in the ankle, and Bar- 
tholemew Hart one in the wrist and neck ; several others followed in 
quick succession. But the cannoneers did not shirk their duty, they 
kept the guns blazing forth an angry roar sending shot and shell 
against that famous stone wall. The drivers of the caisson limbers 
came up with chests full of ammunition and relieved the piece lim- 
bers which were empty, and going to the rear, where the caissons 
were stationed, refilled the chests and brought them again to the 
front ; in this way the guns of the battery were kept supplied with 
ammunition during the engagement. 

Our position was a perfect hornet's nest, with the hornets all 
stirred up. Minie balls were flying and singing about us, with a 
zip and a u-u-u, or a thud as they struck ; though they flew thick 
and fast we were too busy to dodge them, but kept our guns blazing 
away much to the consternation of those in front of us. 

We continued this cannonading for about three-quarters of an 
hour, when the battery was ordered to cease firing, and permit the 
infantry (General Humphrey's troops) to pass through the battery 
to charge on the enemy's line at the stone wall, left and rear of the 
Brick House. After the infantry had passed, the battery, being or- 
dei*ed to limber up, withdrew in good order from the field, in the face 
of the enemy, taking all our guns and caissons, but for lack of horses 
we were forced to leave one limber on the field. The battery went 
back into the city and parked in an open lot on Caroline Street near 
the old position we occupied before going into action. Captain Haz- 
ard asked for volunteers who would go back to the field for the lim- 
ber ; Sergeant Horton was the first to reply, being the first to under- 
stand the nature of the request, as the men were all more or less 
busy in preparing the camp for the night. However, Sergt. An- 
thony B. Horton with three drivers, Levi J. Cornell, Clark L. 
Woodmansee, and Benjamin A. Burlingame with their horses, under 
command of Lieut. Joseph S. Milne, went back to the field, and re- 
turned safely to camp with the desired limber. 




Fredericksburg, Dec. 13< 1862, and May 3, 1863. 



1862.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 141 

The casualties of the battery in this battle of Fredricksburg De- 
cember 13th, were sixteen men wounded, namely : Corporals Cal- 
vin W. Rathbone, William P. Wells, Alanson A. Williams ; Pri- 
vates Lorenzo D. Budlong, Morris Carmichael, William H. Cornell, 
Henry A. Gardner, Caleb H. H. Greene, John F. Hanson, Bar- 
tholomew Hart, Albert E. Henolrick, Edwin F. Knowles, Joseph 
Luther (died of wounds in hospital), William F. Reynolds, Lewis 
W. Scott, John J. Sisson. 

Three of the above remained with the battery, their wounds being 
slight ; while the others wei'e sent to different hospitals. 

It was very remarkable, considering our close action with the 
enemy, that none of thejbatterymen were killed. Fifteen horses were 
killed, and Captain Hazard's, Lieutenant Bloodgood's and Lieutenant 
Milne's were shot under them. The officers and men were very 
thankful that they had passed through the ordeal so fortunately, for 
the battery had been ordered to the front, to be sacrificed if need 
be, in order to give inspiration to the infantry in the last and great 
struggle of our troops to carry the works of the enemy at the stone 
wall. It was in vain that the men rushed forward into the midst of 
a shower of musket balls, for in spite of their bravery they were 
forced to succumb, and the goal {the stone xvall) could not be 
reached. * 

* What RIaj.-Gen. D. N. Couch Says of the Assaults of our Troops on the 

Stone Wall. 

To the left, on line of the Brick House, a slight basin in the ground afforded protection 
to men lying down, against the musketry of the enemy behind the stone wall, but not 
against the converging fire of the artillery on the heights. 

My headquarters were in the field on the edge of the town, overlooking the plain. 
Without a clear idea of the state of affairs at the front, since the smoke and light fog 
veiled everything, I sent word to Generals French and Hancock to carry the enemy's 
works by storm. Then I climbed the steeple of tlie court-house, and from above the 
haze and smoke, got a clear view of the field. General Howard, who was with me, says 
I exclaimed: "Oh, great God! see how our men, our poor fellows, are falling." I re- 
member that the whole plain could be seen covered with men, prostrate and dropping; 
the line men running here and there, and in front closing upon each other and the 
wounded coming back. The commands seemed to be mixed up. I had never before seen 
fighting like that; there was no cheering on the part of the men, but a stubborn deter- 
mination to obey orders and do their duty. I was in the steeple hardly ten seconds, for I 
saw, at a glance, how they were being cut down, and was convinced that we could not 
be successful in front, and that our only chance lay by the right. I immediately ordered 
General Howard to work in on the right, with the brigades of Owen and Hall, and at- 
tack the enemy behind the stone wall in flank, which he did. About two p. M. General 
Hooker, who was in command of the Centre Grand Division, came upon the field. 
Whipple's division of Hooker's troops had crossed and gone to the right to relieve Gen- 
eral Howard, so that he might join in the attack in the centre. Generals Humphreys 
and Sykes, of Hooker's troops, came to my support. Towards three P. M. I received the 
following dispatch : 



142 history of battery b, [December, 

An opinion of the enemy in regard to Battery B, as learned by our 
captain, John G. Hazard, who says: "The day after the battle I 
went over the river with Capt. C. H. Morgan, Chief of Artillery of 
the Second Corps, and another officer of his staff, under a flag of 
truce conveying messages to General Lee in relation to the burying 
of our dead. As usual our senior officer, Captain Morgan, advanced 
and met the senior officer of the enemy, and after introducing them- 
selves they in turn introduced the others, and then the interchange 
of documents was made. After the official business was ended, some 

" Headquarters Right Grand Division, Army of the Potomac, i 

Dec. 13, 1862-2.40 P. M. > 
Gkxeral Couch: Hooker has been ordered to put in everything. You must hold 
on until he comes in. 

By command of Brkv. Maj-Gen. SUMNER. 

W. G. Jones, Lieutenant, Aide-de-Canip, etc. 

Hooker was the ranking general, and as I understood that he was to take command 
of the whole fighting line, and the putting in of his fresh men beside mine might make a 
success. His very coming was to me, therefore, like the breaking out of the sun in a 
storm. I rode back to meet him, told him what had been done, and said: "I can't 
carry that hill by the front assault; the only chance we have is to try to get in on the 
right." Hooker replied : " I will talk with Hancock." He talked with him, and, after a 
few minutes, said : " Well, Couch, things are in such a state I must go over and tell 
Burnside, it is of no use trying to carry this line here," or words to that effect, and then 
went otf. His going away still left me in command. It was a little after two p. m. 
when he went away, and it was nearly four o'clock when he returned, which was after 
General Humphreys had made his last charge, and we were holding our lines. 

While Humphreys was at work, Getty's division of Wilcox's corps was ordered about 
three o'clock to the charge on our left by the unfinished railroad. I could see the men 
were being dreadfully cut up, although they had not advanced as far as my men. I de- 
termined to send a battery upon the plain to shell the line that was doing them so much 
harm, so I ordered an aide to tell Captain Morgan to send a battery across the canal and 
plant it near the Brick House. Morgan came to me and said: "My God! General, you 
will lose your guns, a battery cannot live there!" My reply was: "Then it cau die 
there! I would rather lose my guns than so many of my men; put them in." Hazard's 
Battery B, First Regiment, Rhode Island Light Artillery, was the One to be sacrificed. 

Without a murmur, Captain Hazard dashed, with his six twelve pounders, into the 
street, over the bridge, and, getting into action on the left of the road, opened fire with 
a rapidity which well served my purpose, to hearten our men lying down in front, and 
create in the mind of the enemy the expectation of a new assault, which would draw 
their fire and relieve the pressure on the Ninth Corps. 

The right section of Hazard's battery, under Lieut. G. W. Adams, a cool and capable 
officer, is still further advanced in the road in line of the Brick House. Three number 
ones are struck down in quick succession, at the muzzle of the guns, but still the pieces 
were served in that perilous place as steadily as if at a review. 

Men never fought more gallantly. When General Hooker returned to the field he or- 
dered Frank's battery (G, First New Y'ork) to the ridge on Hazard's left in support. But 
this last effort did not last long. Never before, I believe, was artillery so far advanced 
in plain sight without cover against an intrenched enemy. The object of the daring en- 
terprise was accomplished, and the guns were ultimately withdrawn witliout the loss of 
a single piece; and Battery B, First Regiment Rhode Island Light Artillery, Capt. John 
G. Hazard commanding, was placed upon record. 

[Signed] D. N. COUCH, 

Major - General commanding. 



1862. J FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 143 

thirty minutes were spent in a social way. During the time, the 
senior officer of the enemy said to Captain Morgan, ' I saw yester- 
day one of the most gallant deeds, performed hy a battery of your 
artillery, coming out between the lines and getting into action under 
a fearful fire from our artillery and infantry, that I ever saw.' 
Captain Morgan replied, ' Colonel, allow me to introduce to you 
again Captain Hazard, who commanded and led that battery into 
action. The colonel at once stepped up to me, offering his hand, 
saying, ' Captain, I congratulate you and your men on their deed of 
gallantry.' I replied that we did not desire any congratulation from 
a military point of view — the battery was sent merely as a morale 
support to our infantry, rather than for any effectual work we could 
possibly do. The colonel replied, ' All the same, it was a most dar- 
ing deed.' " 

Following is a copy of Capt. JohnG. Hazard's report of the bat- 
tery sent to Division Headquarters : 

Headquarters Battery B, First Reg't R. I. Light Art. 

Near Falmouth, Va., Dec. 17, 1862. 

Captain: I have the honor to report that on Wednesday, 10th in 
stant, I received orders to put my battery in light marching order, pre- 
paratory to removing early on the following day. At the break of day on 
the morning of the 11th instant, received orders from Capt. C. H. Morgan, 
Chief of Artillery of the Second Corps, to move my command to near 
the Rappahannock River. Halted in rear of the Lacy House under cover 
of the hill. At 9.30 A. M. was ordered to report to Col. C. H. Tomp- 
kins, and placed my battery in position on the bluff, to the right of the 
Lacy House, overlooking the city of Fredericksburg. 

During the day I expended 3S4 rounds of solid shot and shell upon the 
enemy's sharpshooters' rifle-pits that lined the opposite bank of the 
river. At dark I withdrew my battery, by orders of Captain Morgan, 
about 1,000 yards to the rear and parked. 

On the morning of the 12th, at six o'clock, I received orders from Cap- 
tain Morgan to cross the river with my battery and report to General 
Howard, commanding Second Division Second Corps. 

Crossed the river at seven a. m. and formed in column of sections on 
the bank near the river. I remained in this position until ten a. m. of 
the 13th, when I moved out, by orders of General Howard, in columns of 
pieces on Caroline Street. 

At 3.45 p. m., I received orders from Captain Morgan to take my bat- 
tery to the front on the double-quick, and placed them in position on an 
eminence some 150 or 200 yards in front of the enemy's rifle-pits. I 
placed the centre and left sections on the brow of the field to the left of 
the road, and the right section in the road about thirty yards in advance 



144 history of battery b, [December, 

of the other sections, and opened on the enemy with solid shot from the 
left and centre sections and shell from the right. I continued firing 
with rapidity for forty-five minutes, when General Humphreys requested 
me to cease firing that he might charge through my battery with his 
brigade on the enemy's works. After the infantry passed I withdrew 
my battery by orders of Captain Morgan to my old position in the city. 

Before getting into battery and during the engagement, I sustained a 
loss of sixteen men and twelve battery horses, also the horses of Lieu- 
tenants Bloodgood's, Milne's, and my own were shot. Owing to the loss 
of my horses I was forced to leave one limber on the field, and withdrew 
the left piece of the left section by hand. After arriving in my old po- 
sition I asked if any sergeant woidd volunteer to go back and bring the 
limber from the field. Sergeant Anthony B. Horton was the first to re- 
ply, and said, " I am your man," and succeeded in bringing it into 
camp. 

The list of casualties on the 13th were: Henry A. Gardner, Albert E. 
Hendrick, Joseph Luther, Caleb H. H. Greene, Bartholomew Hart, 
Lewis W. Scott, and Corp. Calvin W. Rathbone were badly wounded. 
Corp. William P. Wells, in foot; Edwin H. Knowles, in thigh; Lorenzo 
D. Budlong, in arm; Morris Carmichael, in groin; William F. Reynolds, 
lungs; slightly wounded, Corp. Alanson A. Williams, William H. Cor- 
nell, John F. Hanson, John J. Sisson. 

On the morning of the 14th, by order of Captain Morgan, I recrossed 
the river and reported to General Hunt; went into park in rear of the 
Lacy House. I remained in this position until 12 m. of the 15th, when 
I returned to my old camp near Falmouth, by orders of Captain Morgan, 
and reported to General Howard. 

In conclusion I would respectfully beg leave to allude to the bravery 
and endurance of my men, not a man quitting his post on the field. 

As to the conduct of my officers, Lieutenants Adams, Bloodgood, 
Perrin and Milne, I can only say I am proud to have associated with me 
such gallant and self-possessed officers. 

JOHN G. HAZARD, Capt. 1st Reg. R: I. Lt. Art., 

Commanding Battery B. 

On the morning of the 14th, Captain Hazard received orders to 
recross the river, and at nine o'clock the battery was again parked 
in the rear of the Lacy House. While here our ammunition chests 
were refilled, and our supply wagon having been ordered up, rations 
were issued, and the spare horses from camp were brought down to 
take the places of those killed. All the equipments and harnesses were 
examined. At noon we received eighteen infantry recruits, detailed 
from the Fifteenth Massachusetts and Nineteenth Maine regiments, 
to take the places of our wounded. Thus the battery was again ready 
for action. 



1862.] 



FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 



145 



All day of the 15th, the battery bivouacked near the Lacy House 
awaiting orders. The morning of the 16th was cold and rainy, and 
continued so throughout the day. Last night our troops evacuated 
Fredericksburg, and recrossing the river in safety bivouacked along 
the east bank of the Rappahannock. The rebels again occupied the 
city, and during the morning their pickets could be seen skirmishing 
through the streets as if they expected to meet with further op- 
position from our troops. 

Upon orders received by Captain Hazard at noon, the infantry re- 
cruits were returned to their regiments, and the battery proceeded to 
its camp near Falmouth ; the remainder of the day was devoted to 
rest. Being in camp again the men began to revive from the de- 
moralizing effects of the retreat after a hard fought battle. 




Sergt. Calvin L. Macomber. 



146 history of battery b, [December, 



CHAPTER XIV. 



IN WINTER QUARTERS NEAR FALMOUTH, VA. 

THE 17th, found us in our old camp trying to finish our winter 
quarters, which were laid out in an oblong square with the 
park in the centre. The officers' and first sergeant's quar- 
ters were on the east side, and along the north side were those of the 
men ; on the west side were the quarters of the quartermaster-ser- 
geant, the artificers, blacksmith, and stable sergeant, also those of 
the cooks and kitchen ; on the south side, extending half way up the 
square, was the stable, a stockade of poles and frame-work covered 
on the top and north side with pine boughs and straw ; the south 
side was open, and the ground descending in this direction made the 
stable dry and comfortable for the animals. The quarters of the 
men were log huts with canvas tops, each containing a fireplace or 
pit. The chimneys of the fireplaces usually did good service, but if 
the wind chanced to blow very hard the smoke would sometimes be 
carried in the wrong direction. Notwithstanding many little incon- 
veniences, our quarters were quite comfortable considering the exist- 
ing circumstances. 

In the afternoon, at retreat roll call, the following was read to the 

command : 

Headquarters 2d Drv., 2d Corps, 

Dec. 17, 1S62. 
General Orders, ) 
No. 173. J 

The general commanding the division now takes occasion officially to 
tender his hearty thanks to the commissioned officers of every grade, 
and to the enlisted men, for their gallant conduct during Thursday, Sat- 
urday, Sunday and Monday in the battle of Fredericksburg. He real- 
izes that his interest is identified with theirs, and purposes to care for 
them with the same untiring energy that they have displayed since his 
connection with them. Through you, their comrades, he tenders his 
strong feelings of sympathy to the wounded, and to the afflicted at home. 
We will cherish the names of the fallen, and emulate their example. 



1862.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 147 

Our lives are still spared for some good end, and we can use them (or 
sacrifice them if need he) in no nohler cause than that in which we are 
now engaged, in the preservation of what our fathers purchased for us. 
Our cause is just, and with troops like Sedgwick's Old Division and the 
Divine Messing will not falter. 

[Official.] (Signed,) O. O. HOWARD, 

Brig. Gen. Commanding. 
H. M. Stixson, Lieut, and A. I). C. 

Decemher 18th. The weather was pleasant but cold. The offi- 
cers' and men's quarters were finished, as was also the stockade for 
the horses. In consequence of our having no drills, camp duties 
were very light and we had quite an easy time. 

December 23d, was pleasant and warm. Just after noon, as the 
cannoneers were drilling at the manual of the piece, there marched 
into camp a squad of infantry ; all had their knapsacks but were 
without arms. They were halted in front of the park at parade rest, 
and remained in line, watching the cannoneers drill, while their lieu- 
tenant in command went to battery headquarters. They were not all 
strangers, as many of them were the volunteer recruits who had been 
detailed to the battery after the battle of the 13th instant, and had 
been returned to their regiments only a few days before : recruits 
not having been received from Rhode Island as was expected, this 
squad of infantry had now returned to serve in our battery. At the 
conclusion of the drill, the recruits were assigned to the different de- 
tachments, and there was much hand shaking and renewal of 
acquaintances formed a short time before, and such remarks as : "I 
told you that I would come back again, and here I am." 

On December 24th, it was pleasant and warm, and the battery was 
ordered to turn out in full force for mounted inspection. General 
Sumner and Col. C. H. Tompkins, with their staffs, witnessed the 
manoeuvres. Colonel Tompkins complimented us upon our fine ap- 
pearance and the excellent condition of our guns and equipments. 

The following letter was then read to the command : 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D. C, Dec. 22, 1S62. 
To Hie Army of the Potomac : 

I have just received your commanding general's preliminary report of 
the battle of Fredericksburg. Although you were not successful the at- 
tempt was not an error, nor the failure other than an accident. The 
courage with which you, in an open field, maintained the contest against 
an entrenched foe, and the consummate skill and success with which you 



148 history of battery b, [December, 

crossed and recrossed the river in face of the enemy, show that you pos- 
sess all the qualities of a great army, which will yet give victory to the 
cause of the country and of popular government. 

Condoling with the mourners for the dead, and sympathizing with the 
severely wounded, I congratulate you that the number of both is com- 
paratively small. 

I tender to you, officers and soldiers, the thanks of the nation. 

(Signed.) ABRAHAM LINCOLN". 

[Official.] 
E. Whittlesey, A. A. Gen. 

Maj. Gen. Sumner, then addressing us said: 

"It is with pride and pleasure that I look upon you brave men, who 
were given as a sacrifice for their country. You have safely passed the 
ordeal as men worthy of your calling. You were tried and not found 
wanting. I shall never forget you. And I heartily congratulate you on 
the worthy record you have made." 

Captain Hazard then dismissed his command, and passes were 
given to those who wished to go to the village or visit other com- 
mands. Every one seemed in good spirits, and those who did not 
have enough went in search of more. 

December 25th. The weather was fine, and, it being Christmas 
day, Captain Hazard gave orders that no work was to be done only 
the necessary camp duties. So Christmas came and passed as pleas- 
antly as could be expected in the midst of civil war, on rebel soil, 
and in front of a rebel army. The Christmas dinners displayed a 
great variety of skill. In some messes the capture of a case-back 
(wild hog), whose nimble bound was overmatched by swifter running 
feet, supplied a savory feast, while a chicken graced some other fes- 
tive board. The less fortunate, however, had an opportunity to test 
their skill in manufacturing a treat from pork or salt-junk and hard- 
tack. A lean larder developed in the soldier much ingenuity in the 
culinary art. 

On the 26th, at retreat roll call, the following order was read to 

the command : 

Headquarters 2d Army Corps, 

Near Falmouth, Va., Dec. 26, 1862. 
General Orders, \ 
No. 34. [ 

In compliance with special orders No. 92, from Headquarters Right 
Grand Division, the undersigned hereby assumes command of the 2d 
Corps. All existing orders will remain in force. 

(Signed,) JOHN SEDGWICK, 

[Official.] Maj. Gen. 

E. Whittlesey, A. A. G. 



1862.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 149 

General Sedgwick had returned, and, having no command, was 
assigned to the Second until the return of General Couch, who had 
been granted a leave of absence. 

On the 28th, after battery inspection, the men were ordered into 
line and the officer of the day (Lieutenant Bloodgood) read the fol- 
lowing complimentary circular : 

Headquarters 1st. Regt. R. I. Lt. Art., 
Circular: Falmouth, Va., Dec. 28, 1862. 

The Colonel Commanding hereby communicates to the regiment, with 
mingled feelings of pride and pleasure; the following order of His Ex- 
cellency the Governor of Rhode Island. 

State of Rhode Island, Etc. 

Adjutant General's Office, 
General Orders, \ Providence, Dec. 23d, 18G2. 

JSTo. 60. f 

The Commander-in-Chief presents his thanks to Colonel Tompkins, 
officers and men of the First Regt. of Rhode Island Lt. Artillery, who 
took part in the battle of Fredericksburg, on the 13th instant. The offi- 
cers and men of this favorite corps must know with what pride he re- 
ceives the i - eport of their honorable and efficient conduct. 

The report of Colonel Tompkins is added as a part of this order: 

" The six batteries, of this regiment, with this army were all engaged 
in the recent battle, and sustained a loss of six killed, twenty wounded, 
and one missing. 

" Battery B was more hotly engaged than either of the others, having 
sixteen men killed and wounded. 

"The battery was ordered up to the front line, to give confidence to 
the infantry who were wavering. As they came into battery an entire 
regiment broke and ran to the rear, passing through the^attery. 

" To their credit, be it said, not a single cannoneer left his post but all 
stood by their guns, and, as soon as the infantry got out of the way, 
opened fire upon the enemy. 

"The conduct of Captain Hazard, his officers and men was creditable 
in the highest degree; the others all behaved well with the exception of 
some of the men of Battery D, who did not keep up with their guns 
when they went into the fight. 

"Captain Arnold of Battery A, took command of his battery that 
morning, and proved himself a good officer under fire." 

(Signed,) By order of the Commander-in-Chief. 

Edward C. Mauran, Adjutant General. 

Battery commanders will, upon the receipt of this, have the above 
read to their respective commands. 

(Signed,) By orders of COL. C. H. TOMPKINS, 

Commanding Regiment. 
G. L. Dwight, 1st Lieut. R. I. Lt. Art., Adjutant. 



150 history of batteky b, [January, 

Dec. 29th. The weather had continued warm and pleasant for 
nearly two weeks, there had been little frost and the men found it 
very comfortable for that time of the year. 

On the 31st, the weather turned quite cold, with high winds and 
threatening clouds ; in the afternoon it snowed enough to cover the 
ground. The muster-in rolls were signed for the months of Novem- 
ber and December, there was four months' pay due the men. 
The changes that had occurred during the past two months were, one 
officer left, being promoted, and two officers reported for duty. 
There were sixteen men in the hospitals for disability on account of 
wounds or sickness. Five have died, two were discharged, and one 
taken prisoner on the march from Warrentown (was with the broken 
down horses), one deserted on the march. There were present for 
duty 128 men, and nine on detached or extra duty. 

Jan. 1, 1863. The weather was pleasant and growing warmer. 
The infantrymen had become quite proficient in the artillery drill, 
so as to be called artillerymen. To-day was established a new 
feature, and that was a school for instruction of the non-commis- 
sion officers, by Captain Hazard. Each lieutenant is to teach those 
of his section. 

On the 5th, First Lieut. Horace S. Bloodgood bid adieu to Battery 
B, having been commissioned captain and appointed to Battery G, 
First Regiment Rhode Island Light Artillery, and Lieutenant Adams 
and First Sergt. George W. Blair are mentioned for promotion. 

On the 11th, Chaplain Perry visited the battery and with him 
came fifteen recruits from Rhode Island. There was only one a na- 
tive of Rhode Island, of the others, ten were of Massachusetts, one of 
New York, and three of Pennsylvania. They had enrolled at Provi- 
dence, R. I., for the artillery service and were sent to Battery B, 
namely : 

John T. Boyle, David Brown, Charles Clarke, Samuel H. Colling- 
ton, Martin Cummings, Daniel N. Felt, Charles Fried, Joseph Ham- 
mond, Daniel Hare, John Kane, Frederic Mahre, Peter Ryan, Carl 
Skifer, A. R. Stone, Charles Warren. 

The Rhode Islander, David Brown, and the New Yorker, Charles 
Warren, did not remain with the battery but a short time, when both 
deserted. 

On the loth, the battery had mounted inspection and were compli- 
mented by the inspector, Lieut. -Col. C. H. Morgan, now assistant 
inspector-general and chief of staff of the Second Army Corps. 




Lieut. Horace S. Bloodgood. 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 151 

Jan. 17th. For the past week there have been grand reviews of 
the Army Corps, and the Second Corps was reviewed to-day by 
Gen. A. E. Burnside, accompanied by his staff and other officers. 
There was not much enthusiasm shown on this occasion, for there 
was discontent among the troops, caused by the disaster on the 13th 
of December. Had the losses been sustained in an equal fight it would 
have been borne by the troops with a very different feeling. The 
privates in the ranks knew just as well as their officers that they had 
not had a fair chance at Fredericksburg. The open-eyed intelligence 
and quick insight into mechanical relations, which characterize the 
American volunteer, and which make him, when properly led, the 
most formidable soldier of the world, render him also a very poor 
subject to " fool with." 

Another cause, which aggravated the discontent, was the failure of 
" Major Cash " to make his appearance at headquarters, for some of 
the troops had not been paid in several months ; this occasioned dis- 
satisfaction among the soldiers and their friends at home, and many 
letters were sent through the mail from the army with this inscrip- 
tion written thereon : 

"Soldier's letter and na-ray a red, 
Hard-tack in place of bread; 
Postmaster, please pass it through, 
Na-ray a red, but four months due." 

And others with the following inscription : " Please pass free, 
dead broke and 1,000 miles from home, and no pay from Uncle Sam 
in six months." The failure of the pay department caused the 
number of desertions to increase to a fearful extent. 

January 20th. Cloudy and cold. There was a battery inspection 
held to-day, and we were put under light marching orders and 
expected a move ; all equipments in good order, horses in good con- 
dition, but the men were not in very good spirits, as their pocket- 
books were empty and no money to get anything with. Troops be- 
gan to move to the right, which indicated that the contemplated 
movement against -the enemy's left was about to take place at the 
fords above Falmouth. At noon it commenced to rain, this made 
very hard traveling for the troops and artillery ; struggling on, the 
men bivouacked at night, lying upon the soaked ground in an unre- 
lenting, down-pouring rain, that continued throughout the night and 
all the next day. 



152 history of battery b, [January, 

Oil the morning of the 21st, the battery was ordered to hitch up ; 
the horses remained in harness all day. We were expecting to move, 
but did not, for in the afternoon the battery was ordered to unhitch 
and unharness, and the men were sent to their quarters, much to 
their satisfaction that for once they had been favored, and not been 
obliged to tramp through mud and rain to no purpose. 

On the 23d, the troops returned from the right in a disorderly con- 
dition wet, tired and muddy from their fruitless and unprofitable 
" Mud March," and from toiling at pontoons and cannons that would 
not budge for all the pushing and hauling of men and beasts. Verily did 
we, and the men of the Second Corps, sympathize with our comrades 
in arms and at the same time congratulate ourselves that for once 
we had escaped a like ordeal. 

January 24th. The sun rose clear and bright throwing a warm 
ray of light over the camps of those yet weary from fatigue, as if 
trying to make amends for the unpleasant and dreary weather of the 
past. This beautiful morning was welcomed by all, the men attend- 
ing to camp duties more cheerfully, and it was not long before the 
effects of the " Mud Campaign" began to disappear. 

January 25th and 26th. The general routine of camp duty 
marked the events of the battery, while with that of the Army and 
Corps there was a change 

General Burnside, who had been in command of the Army of the 
Potomac since the 7th of November last, was relieved and Maj. 
Gen. Joseph Hooker appointed its commander. 

The other change was the retirement of General Sumner from the 
army. Borne down by increasing infirmities, he retired from active 
field service where he had borne himself with a courage, simplicity 
and fortitude rarely seen in men. In bidding farewell to the troops 
he had so long commanded General Sumner said : "I have only to 
recall to you the memory of the past in which you have fought so many 
battles always with credit and honor ; in which you have captured 
so many colors without losing a single gun or standard, and to urge 
that keeping this recollection in your hearts you prove yourselves 
worthy of it. It is only in so doing that you 'can retain for your- 
selves a reputation well won, .and which I feel will be preserved un- 
der the gallant and able commander, Maj. Gen. D. N. Couch, to 
whom I confide you." No one of his comrades had ever imagined 
that the brave old man would die in his bed ; but so it was, and with- 
in the brief space of three months his life of stirring endeavor, of 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 153 

heroic devotion to duty, of daring enterprise and unshrinking ex- 
posure to danger, was to end peacefully at his home in Syracuse, 
N. Y., from mere exhaustion of vital principle powers. 

January 27th. Cold and rainy. But if one, in a comfortable 
shanty listening to the patter of rain or the music of the wind, were 
inclined to be cynical and to engage in special fault-finding it would 
be at the irregularity of the time at which the paymaster makes his 
appearance with the cash ; but it is wiser to regard disappointment 
" an accident of the day," and take refuge in the pleasure of hope. 
But hark ! what is it that is borne by the gentle breeze from camp to 
camp? That little bird (rumor) is around, what news does it bring? 
Why, Major Cash is at headquarters with piles of greenbacks for 
the boys. This fact stimulates an activity of new life among the 
men, and, as Bugler Crowningshield sounds the assembly call, and upon 
the sharp loud voice of First Sergeant Blair commanding to " fall 
in," the men seemed to vie with each other to get into line first as if 
this was an occasion when delays might be dangerous and the green- 
backs take wings and disappear. The line is formed and the men 
were paid for the months of September and October only. This 
was a disappointment and caused dissatisfaction iu uot getting 
paid for the other two months, November and December that were 
due. 

On the 28th, there was n severe snow storm with high winds 
blowing ; the snow fell to the depth of about four inches. It rained 
the next day and froze as fast as it fell ; very disagreeable weather 
to be about. 

On the 30th, the weather changed to pleasant and warm, and the 
snow disappeared as fast as it came. 

On the 31st, it was pleasant and warm and the army had settled 
down in winter quarters and re-organized, which it was supposed 
would give it greater efficiency. The grand divisions were super- 
seded by army corps again, and the artillery was brigaded as a unit 
under the command of a chief of artillery attached to each corps, 
and all of the cavalry with the Army of the Potomac was consoli- 
dated and formed a corps under one commander. 

February 1st, was very cold and cloudy. The news, however, 
that furloughs were to be granted stimulated the men to renewed life 
and activity, and there was much speculating as to who might be the 
lucky ones. The excitement of the march, the inspiration of the 
battle, or the quietude of an agreeable camp life failed to make the 



lo4 history ©f battery b, [February, 

soldier forgetful of home ; consequently after an absence of a year 
or more he greets with no ordinary pleasure the furlough that 
grants him the privilege of visiting scenes familiar and dear. 

February 6th. The weather had been very cold and last night 
was the coldest we had yet experienced. Jt snowed nearly all day ; 
toward night it turned to rain and hail and then to a chilly driz- 
zle. Virginia was very extreme in her weather, and when the 
shower-king suddenly put Old Sol under a cloud an outpouring, that 
would have been creditable to antediluvian times, was quite sure to 
follow. Then succeeded warm mid-day and chilly evenings. 

On the 7th, First Lieut. George W. Adams was commissioned 
captain to the command of Battery I, First Regiment Rhode Island 
Light Artillery. First Sergt. George W. Blair received a commis- 
sion as first lieutenant in the same battery ; and on the eighth both 
left Battery B, and started for Rhode Island. 

First Duty Sergt. John T. Blake was promoted to first sergeant ; 
Third Duty Sergt. John E. Wardlow to first duty sergeant ; and 
Corp. Alanson Williams to sixth duty sergeant. General Couch, 
having returned, resumed command of his corps (the Second), and 
General Sedgwick went to take command of the Sixth Corps. 

On the 13th, it was pleasant although a chilly north wind was 
blowing. There was nothing of exciting interest occurring at this 
time and consequently no incidents worthy of note. The battery 
stood parked in grim silence ready to report when called upon, and 
the encampments of the army generally were in quietude. The reb- 
els, on the contrary, were reported busy on the other side of the Rap- 
pahannock along our entire front. Earthworks had been thrown up 
opposite Falmouth and rifle-pits dug near the margin of the river. 
Possibly these additional preparations, on their part, were based upon 
the supposition that we were intending to revisit our old battle-field, 
but it was evident that our apparent quietness alarmed them and 
they intended to be in readiness for whatever might transpire. On 
our side, however, greater attention was paid to picket duties and to 
the strengthening of our lines and proper connections on the right 
and left of each command. This was a wise and judicious measure 
as it tended to prevent any sudden surprises by rebel raiders. 

February 14th. The weather was very changeable. The rain of 
the previous night seemed to have dampened the ardor of the rebels 
for they had stopped work and all was quiet on the Rappahannock. 
In the afternoon First Lieut. T. Fred. Brown reported for duty. He 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 155 

was promoted from second lieutenant of Battery C, First Regiment 
Rhode Island Light Artillery. 

On the 16th, the weather was fine, and, it heing the first suitable 
day we had had for some time, the battery held camp inspection and 
drill al the manual of the piece, Lieutenant Brown in command. 
Captain Hazard left last evening for Rhode Island on a furlough. 

February 22d. The birthday of Washington was ushered in by 
one of the severest snow storms of the winter ; grand in itself, as a 
natural phenomenon, it was shorn of its poetic sublimity when viewed 
from the long lines of tents scantily provided with fuel or deficient 
in extra blankets. 

A national salute of thirty-four guns was tired at noon by the ar- 
tillery of the different divisions, and, had the weather permitted, the 
troops would have paraded to hear read extracts from Washington's 
" Farewell Address." To the loyal states, and to loyal men in the 
rebel states, the wise counsels of that address were never so full of 
expression as now. The angry whirl of the snow and the hoarse 
voice of the storm were appropriate demonstrations of the spirit in 
which, if living, the founder of the republic would have rebuked 
those seeking to destroy it. Under canvas the hours of discomfort 
were whiled away by ingenious attempts to keep out the sky dust 
(snow), or in an imaginary comparison between a winter in front of 
Fredericksburg and a Revolutionary winter at Valley Forge. 

February 28th. Though cloudy and warm the weather for the 
past few days had been exceedingly variable changing from snow and 
sleet to warm April rains, and the mercury in a few hours would fall 
from seventy down to twenty degrees. The sanitary condition of 
the men was favorably reported and the number on the sick list, in 
the camp hospitals, did not exceed the usual average and was less 
than might have been expected, after the fatigue and exposures of the 
earlier part of the winter. Our camp hospitals were not intended 
for patients requiring serious attention, being usually occupied by 
those whose cases called for only the simpliest treatments ; as soon 
as it was evident that some weeks or months would elapse before re- 
covery the patients were removed to some general hospital. Bat- 
tery B was to be congratulated in regard to the health of its men. 
There was a hospital tent and hospital steward but of patients there 
were none, all seemed to give the hospital a wide berth. 

In the beginning of the war no one foresaw or imagined that in 
less than two years nearly one hundred and fifty thousand sick and 



156 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [March, 

wounded men would require medical and surgical treatment ; accord- 
ing to the most reliahle sources of information this number was in 
the various hospitals in the beginning of the year of 1863. For the 
improvement visible in general and camp hospitals much was due 
to the labors of the sanitary commission. By the inspections and 
suggestions of its medical agents many evils, resulting from inexpe- 
rience and other causes, were removed, and, by the seasonable supplies 
of hospital stores it furnished, the sick and wounded were greatly re- 
lieved. The services rendered in the camps on the Peninsula, on the 
fields of Antietam, Fredericksburg, and elsewhere, were among the 
gratifying evidences of its usefulness as au auxiliary to the medical 
bureau. The agents came laden with blankets so much needed by 
the wounded exposed to the rain or a chilly night ; and most wel- 
come were the changes of raiment they brought to those whose gar- 
ments were stiff with dirt and gore. The value of such work could 
not be overestimated, and the commission that carried it on so vig- 
orously deserved the hearty and liberal support of the patriotic and 
humane whose spirit it so faithfully represented. The relation it 
held to the army was vital. To the voluntary service of women, as 
nurses who constantly visited local and camp hospitals, great praise 
was also due ; their presence and sympathetic words even more than 
their gifts cheered thousands of wounded men, far from home, whose 
sufferings were making them victims of despondency, and left an 
impression on grateful memories that could never be obliterated. 

March 1st. Rained in the morning but was warm. Mud is 
king. Since the army returned to its winter quarters from its late 
attempt to cross the Rappahannock, snow, rain, frost, and drizzle had 
preserved the monarch's domain, and all attempts of sunshine and 
wind had failed to diminish its extent. Let one undertake a pleasure 
jaunt of ten or a dozen miles and they would be convinced that the 
story of a battery gun being sunk, on the late expedition, until noth- 
ing remained visible but the rims of the wheels, gun and carriage 
being covered with mud, was anything but a slightly exaggerated 
form of speech. One had only to tramp a few miles and then biv- 
ouac surrounded by mud to appreciate the situation. The provost 
marshal vigorously exercised his functions against sutlers of feeble 
conscience. At Belle Plain, a few days ago, a cargo of forbidden 
goods (ivhiskey) was seized and confiscated, so that what was one's 
loss was another's gain. 

March 2d. As Lieut. T. Fred. Brown was inspecting the battery 
Col. C. H. Morgan, inspector-general of the corps, rode into camp 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 157 

ami also made an inspection of the battery, the camp, and quarters ; 
after which he made a short address complimentary to our fine ap- 
pearance, neatness of camp and equipments. The men were then dis- 
missed and Lieutenant Brown accompanied the colonel to corps 
headquarters. 

March 3d. Warm and showery. It was a gala day with the men, 
especially with those that had received boxes from friends at home. 
The long looked-for vessel, the Helen and Elizabeth, arrived the first 
of the month at her destination (Acquia Creek Landing), after a 
long and boisterous voyage, full freighted with vegetables for the 
Rhode Island troops, and boxes for individuals from thoughtful 
friends. The cargo of vegetables was in good condition and made 
a welcome addition to camp fare. Battery B received eight barrels 
of potatoes, onions, and apples and quite a number of boxes for the 
men ; they appreciated the many tokens of remembrance and shared 
with those tent-mates who were not so fortunate as themselves. 

On the 4th, Captain Hazard returned from his furlough and as- 
sumed command of the battery. Orders were received and great 
preparations made for the grand review of the artillery brigade 
which was to take place the next day. 

March 5th. Cloudy and cold with high winds. At nine a. m. 
the battery was hitched up, and, under light marching orders, left 
camp for the plains near corps headquarters. We were unfortunate 
in having several nervous and vicious horses, and, as they passed 
the bands, being frightened at the music, would lunge, prance, 
then suddenly turn and as to high kicking they had no equals. 
With such horses it was difficult and tedious work getting along, and, 
to cap the climax, one team succeeded in turning a gun carriage up- 
side down, and another in breaking a limber pole. To avoid any fur- 
ther trouble they were sent back to camp. Battery B finally reached 
the place of review, with four guns and caissons, on time and taking 
its place in line the men put on their best behavior and dignity. 
The headquarter batteries, Battery I, First United States and Bat- 
tery A, Fourth United States, had the right of line ; next, those of 
the First Division, Battery B, First New York, and Battery C, Fourth 
United States ; then Second Division, Battery A, First Rhode Is- 
land, and Battery B, First Rhode Island ; last the Third Division, 
Battery G, First New York, and Battery G, First Rhode Island. 

The review was conducted by Col. Charles H. Morgan, chief of 
staff, to whom credit is due for the promptness with which the line 



158 history ..OF battery b, [March, 

was formed. The review was witnessed by a great number of offi- 
cers of the infantry. To many one of the most interesting features 
of the day was the martial music played by the bands of the corps, 
drawn up in line in the rear of the artillery. 

About eleven a. m. General Hooker with invited guests and at- 
tended by all his staff officers, preceded by a band of 120 pieces con- 
solidated for the occasion, started down the line. When near and op- 
posite Battery B they halted, then continuing on they passed around to 
the rear of the line and returned to headquarters. The review then 
being at an end the line was dismissed, and the commanders of the dif- 
ferent batteries marched their commands back to their camps, where 
we arrived without any further mishaps though much fatigued. We 
were well satisfied with the work of the day, it was one of compli- 
ments, and none received more than Battery B, First Regiment of 
Rhode Island Light Artillery, on their fine appearance and disci- 
pline. But more interesting to the men was the remark that there 
would be four furloughs instead of three granted Battery B as their 
reward on this occasion. 

March 11th. The weather had been variable as usual during the 
past few days ; first warm and pleasant, then cold and raw with a 
disagreeable wind followed by snow and then rain. Rowland L. 
Dodge, guidon, was discharged to accept commission as second lieu- 
tenant Company L, Third Regiment Rhode Island Heavy Artillery. 
He started for Rhode Island in the evening after bidding his com- 
rades adieu. 

March 17th. Cloudy and warm. The Irish brigade celebrated St. 
Patrick's day with horse racing near General Meagher's headquar- 
ters. In the afternoon heavy firing was heard upon the right. Our 
cavalry had been sent to Kelly's Ford, on the Rapidan, on a recon- 
noissance. The Rhode Island cavalry was the first to cross and be- 
ing attacked by a force of the enemy got somewhat cut up. 

March 20th. Snowed again last night and continued doing so all 
the morning, this put a stop to field or any other drills. Received 
news of the cavalry reconnoissance of the seventeenth instant. Gen- 
eral Averill had a sharp engagement of four hours' duration with the 
rebel cavalry under General Stuart. The enemy was routed with 
the loss of one hundred men and fifty prisoners ; our loss was re- 
ported to be about forty. The fight was considered a most brilliant 
cavalry affair and reflected great credit on the spirit and ability of 
General Averill, considering that the enemy had received word of 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 159 

the intended reconnoissance. The First Rhode Island Cavalry were 
in the hottest of the fight and displayed great bravery. They lost 
Lieutenant Nichols and two men and had eighteen wounded. 

The rebel General Stuart apparently had an exalted opinion of 
female influence and consequently turned it to account, in the rebel 
cause, by appointing a Miss Antonia J. Ford an honorary aide-de- 
camp ; as such he required her to be "obeyed, respected, and ad- 
mired by all the lovers of noble feminine nature." Miss Ford has 
been styled kk a modern Delilah." Through her much information 
reached the rebel lines, but she was finally arrested at her home, near 
Fairfax Court House, by the military authorities, which act may have 
saved the Union Samsons of that outpost from betrayal into- the 
hands of the Philistines (General Stuart's men). 

On the 21st, it was still snowing but had gained the depth of only 
two inches ; it cleared off at noon causing the snow to fast disap- 
pear but rendering traveling in the mud very fatiguing. To-day 
another new feature was introduced, that of " corps badges," which 
became very dear to the troops, a source of much emulation on the 
part of the several commands, and a great convenience to the staff 
in enabling them to quickly identify corps, divisions, or brigades 
upon the march or along the line of battle. At retreat roll call the 
following order was read : 

Headquarters of the Army of the Potomac, 

March 21, 18(33. 
Circular Order. 

For the purpose of ready recognition of corps and divisions of the 
Army ; to prevent injustice by reports of straggling and misconduct, 
through mistakes as to their organization, the chief quartermaster will 
furnish without delay, the following badges, to be worn by the officers 
and mustered men of all the regiments of the various corps mentioned. 
They will be securely fastened upon the centre of the top of the cap. 

The inspecting officers will at all inspections see that the badges are 
worn as designated. 

First Corps, sphere; Second Corps, trefoil; Third Corps, lozenge; 
Fifth Corps, Maltese cross; Sixth Corps, cross, four points; Eleventh 
Corps, crescent, points up; Twelfth Corps, star, five points. Color to 
designate divisions, red for first division; white for second division; 
blue for third division; light green for fourth division. 

The sizes to be according to pattern. 

By command of 

Major-General HOOKER. 

(Signed,) S. Williams, A. A. G. 

[Official,] 

Lieut. C. H. Howard, A. D. C. and A. A. G. 



160 history, of battery b, [March, 

This idea originated with General Butterfield, chief of staff of 
the Army of the Potomac, who not only instituted the badges but 
devised them in detail. 

March 27th. Governor Curtin, of Pennsylvania, while visiting 
the troops from that state was entertained with an exhibition of skill 
in various athletic sports enlivened by the music of several bands. 
A stand, some two hundred feet in length, was made from pontoons 
and other bridge material, near at hand, in the rear of the encamp- 
ment of the Second Corps, occupied by the governor and suite, corps, 
division, and brigade officers, also invited guests, which included quite 
a number of ladies whose temporary presence had of late graced 
the camps. 

The amusements comprised a steeple chase, scrub, foot, and sack 
races, greased pole climbing, and other like gymnastics. If less clas- 
sic in order and execution than those of Isthmian fame, they were 
quite as amusing and satisfactory to the large assembly of spectators 
whowwitnessed the performances. For several weeks past occasional 
episodes of this kind have received the sanction and presence of the 
commander-in-chief, giving healthful excitement to the soldier amid 
the graver duties of military routine. Human nature is the same in 
the army as out of it. 

The men crave provocations to mirth, and Mars does wisely by 
now and then yielding a point to Momus. Under the judicious ar- 
rangements and organization of General Hooker the morale of the 
army had been constantly improving for the last two months. Its 
present condition was in agreeable contrast with its jaded spirit im- 
mediately after what had been facetiously called the " Mud Expedi- 
tion." The rest, brief leaves of absence, a good supply of vegetables 
and soft bread, and other special attentions to the comfort of the 
soldiers had infused, as it were, new life among the men. Cheerful- 
ness prevailed, the jocund laugh rang out with hearty sound, disci- 
pline improved, confidence increased, only one thing more was 
needed and that was " Major Cash," the paymaster; all hoped that 
he would soon make his appearance and square up the old account of 
last year. 

The experiences of ten days' leave of absence were not without 
interest, especially to those who enjoyed the privilege for the first 
time in eighteen months. The anticipation, during the somewhat 
tedious preliminaries of obtaining the necessary papers duly signed, 
being over and the coveted document safely stowed in the lucky 



18G3.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 161 

recipient's "inside pocket," fancy plumes her wings for speedy flight 
to distant waiting joys. Turning his back on camp and comrades 
he eagerly sets out on the tramp to Acquia Creek Landing ; he heeds 
not the distance, his mind is occupied with thoughts of home. At 
last he safely embarks on board the government mail steamer, the 
lines are thrown off and the vessel headed for Washington. But fancy 
and facts are in conflict. Imagination succumbs to stern reality. 
Expectation drinks from the cup of disappointment. The tide is low 
and the channel tortuous with its many windings ; suddenly the 
steamer strikes a sand bar where she lies puffing and floundering 
like a stranded cetaceous monster, affording the meditative mind am- 
ple opportunity, amid noise and confusion, to philosophize upon the 
uncertainties of this world and to exercise patience while reflecting 
that the delay is using up the hours at the wrong end of the route. 
But another trial is in store. Night comes, but " sleep is no servant 
of the will " and is courted in vain. There comes no " rosy dreams 
and slumbers light," rest is as impossible as peace to a troubled 
mind, and, tossing from side to side, while waiting the coming day, 
the mind reverts to blankets, tent, or bivouac where sleep was both 
deep and sweet. Morning comes at last, and the capital city is finally 
reached. A much needed bath, enjoyed at Wiliard's, makes partial 
atonement by its refreshing effects for the vexatious delays. The 
time of departure at last arrives, and turning his back on steamer and 
city the traveler takes the cars at six p. M. Puff", puff goes the iron 
horse rushing over the road with lightning speed, and, at the end of 
thirty-six hours, the traveler finds himself at his destination giving 
unexpected friends an agreeable surprise. The hearty greetings, the 
multiplied seals of affection and social divertisements, that awaken 
memories of more peaceful days, beguile the hours and bringtoo soon 
the moment of departure so that one is disposed to think old Father 
Time has been rejuvenated, and, for the purpose of hastening mat- 
ters, has borrowed the famed " seven league boots." 

In Washington and Baltimore the evidences of existing war were 
abundant, but in Philadelphia and New York they had nearly disap- 
peared. The Soldiers' Rest in the former city, which has refreshed 
so many thousands of our weary men, indeed reminded us that sym- 
pathy for the defenders of the Union was still warm. Chestnut 
Street, however, was as gay as in the palmiest days of peace. In 
New York Broadway teemed with busy life, and its merchants were 
making princely fortunes. Fashion had never been arrayed more 
11 



162 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [April, 

extravagantly, promenades never more brilliant, and places of amuse- 
ment never more crowded. Except the old barracks on the Park and 
the few soldiers who found a temporary home at the Rest, little was 
to be seen indicative of the civil conflict. The same was true of 
Providence. Westminster Street was as lively as before the first gun 
was fired on Sumter ; familiar faces were met at every corner ; the 
cars were, as usual, bringing and carrying their living freight ; the 
ships at the wharves were loading and unloading with unabated ac- 
tivity ; smoke was going up from the numerous factories, foundries 
and machine shops, and scarcely noticeable was the depletion in popu- 
lation made by the thousands sent to sustain the government in sup- 
pressing the Rebellion. Thus it was throughout the North ; with 
the exception of a recruiting station here and there nothing looked 
like war. 

April 1st. Warm and pleasant. At two o'clock a. m. Lieutenant 
Potter, General Howard's aide, came galloping into camp and re- 
quested the guard to awaken the officer in command. Lieut. T. Fred. 
Brown received orders to have the battery hitched up as soon as 
possible as it was expected the rebels were going to try and cross the 
river above Falmouth. In a short time the camp was aroused, the 
horses were harnessed and the battery remained in readiness to move, 
under light marching orders, until sunrise when it received orders to 
unhitch, unharness and picket the horses and return to its quarters, 
for it was only an "April fool." The enemy had no intention of 
paying us a visit just now. 

April 4th. Pleasant in the morning, but at noon the weather 
changed becoming cloudy and windy, then it commenced to snow and 
by night a fierce storm had set in and the snow "was three inches 
deep and drifting. It snowed all night and until nearly noon on the 
5th when it ceased, and the weather again became warmer ; by the 
seventh the snow was all gone and mud held possession of the fields 
and roads. 

On the 8th, the battery received orders to prepare for a grand re- 
view of the Second Corps before the Presidential party. For some 
reason Battery B did not go to the review but remained in camp in 
readiness to move at a moment's notice. In the afternoon the bat- 
tery was unhitched and unharnessed and the men returned to quar- 
ters. It was said that the whole army was to be reviewed by the 
President. Rumors of a move on foot. 

April 12th. Pleasant and warm. For the past few days there 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 163 

had been quite a lively time going ou in the different corps enlivened 
by the granting of furloughs. Civic amusements, inaugurated on 
the 17th of March under the auspices of General Meagher, and cul- 
minating in an athletic entertainment given in honor of Governor 
Curtin under the sanction of General Hooker, had been succeeded 
by military galas honored by the presence of the President, Mrs. 
Lincoln, Master Lincoln, the Attorney-General, and others. These 
distinguished guests reached Acquia Creek Lauding in a fierce 
snow storm on the evening of the 4th instant, remaining on the 
steamer until noon of the 5th, when they proceeded to Falmouth, 
where they were received by General Butterfield, chief of staff, and 
were then escorted by a squadron of cavalry to General Hooker's 
he'adquarters. 

The storm and the snow-drifts piled up about the camps ; the 
sharp winds and the mud which followed the receding snow ; the ex- 
amination of encampments and hospitals, gave the Presidential party 
a much better idea of the vicissitudes of a soldier's life than could 
have been derived from official reports. 

During the President's visit every corps of the army, the infantry, 
artillery, and cavalry passed in review before him. Ladies were 
always welcome visitors to the camp and never failed to be received 
with due courtesy. The presence of Mrs. Lincoln was honored 
with every respect ; a tent was fitted up for her use which, though 
less sumptuous than the White House, was neat and comfortable. 
At reviews she occupied a carriage, apparently taking a warm 
interest in the passing scenes. Of the President a characteristic 
anecdote is related. After the review of the 8th instant an ar- 
dent admirer of the regulars, in disparagement of the volunteers, 
called his attention to the more exact discipline of the former as they 
stood statue-like without moving their heads when he passed, while 
the latter almost universally dressed to the left that they might keep 
him in view along the entire line. He did not, however, take the 
impression intended to be given and simply replied : " I don't care 
how much my soldiers turn their heads if they don't turn their 
backs." The Presidential party returned to Washington, and all was 
again quiet along the Rappahannock. 

April 13th. Pleasant and warm. Every command was active in 
view of a move though as yet we had received no orders. Our cav- 
alry, however, moved to the right taking a large amount of forage 
and it was rumored that they were going on a raiding expedition. 



164 



HISTORY OF BATTERY B, 



[April, 



No mails were to be sent from the camps until further notice. Cloth- 
ing which had been ordered the first of last month was received. On 
the 14th, new clothing was issued to those men who wished it. In 
the afternoon there was battery inspection by Lieut. T. Fred. Brown. 
Everything in tiptop condition. 

April 19th. Pleasant and warm. Captain Hazard returned from 
his furlough, but, as he did not feel well and was still on the sick list, 
he did not assume command but applied for a sick leave of absence. 
To-day Second Lieut. Charles A. Brown, promoted from quarter- 
master-sergeant of Battery E, First Regiment Rhode Island Light 
Artillery, reported for duty and was assigned chief of caissons. 




Private Levi J. Cornell. 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 165 



CHAPTER XV. 



PREPARATIONS AND SECOND BATTLE OF FRED- 
ERICKSBURG OR MARYE'S HEIGHTS, VA. 

ON the 20th of April the cavalry supply train returned from 
Kelly's Ford. The train guard had quite a number of 
rebel prisoners who were sent on to Washington. The 
sick from the different division hospitals had been sent north ; this 
fact and other preparations indicated that a movement of some kind 
was soon to take place. 

On the 21st, part of the cavalry corps returned from the right and 
went down to the left of the line having been ordered to Port Con- 
way. The First, Third, and Sixth Corps were ordered to be massed 
at General Franklin's old crossing below Fredericksburg. The feint 
pf our cavalry at Port Conway caused a large body of the rebel 
troops to move down the river. Our cavalry reported that the reb- 
els had been apprised of the activity in our camps pending a move, 
and that they had immediately sent reinforcements to guard the dif- 
ferent fords along the river. A week of fair weather put the roads 
in a more passable condition, and large bodies could move with greater 
certainty in carrying out general orders. 

On the 22d, signed the muster rolls. The men were in better 
spirits afterward for it was reported that we were soon to be paid. 

April 24th. Chilly and raining; the battery received marching 
orders. To our delight " Major Cash" appeared among us and 
most welcome he was. 

The paymaster and Rhode Island allotment commissioner, Henry 
M. Amesbury, visited the battery and we were paid for the months 
of November, December, January, and February. The receiving of 



166 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [April, 

this four months' pay and the settling up brightened a multitude of 
faces with smiles. The allotment arrangement by which the men 
sent money home was an admirable one for safety and many improved 
the opportunity by sending remittances to their families or parents. 

April 26th. Pleasant and warm with high winds. The battery 
did not go to a review as first ordered but had mounted inspection 
instead. A Swiss military celebrity, General Fogliardi, accompa- 
nied by Colonel Repetti and Lieutenant Lubin, the latter as inter- 
preter, had been enjoying for a short time the hospitality of General 
Hooker. The object of their visit was to obtain a knowledge of 
the character and efficiency of our army. To this end they were 
favored with reviews and inspections. These, it was said, elicited 
much praise complimentary to the artillery. 

Amid the forty-eight guns which formed the battery of the Second 
Army Corps, of the Army of the Potomac in April, 1863, a skilled 
eye could not discern which belonged to the regulars' or which to the 
volunteer batteries, * even though the former included such as 1 of 
the First, and A of the Fourth United States Artillery, with Kirby 
and Cushing in command. For the first time, since the beginning of 
the war, the difference between regulars and volunteers ceased to ex- 
ist as far as this arm of the service was concerned. Up to this time, 
notwithstanding the rare excellence of certain batteries like Hazard's 
B, and Arnold's A, of the First Rhode Island, and Pettit's B, First 
New York, with their peerless gunners, there had been a perceptible 
difference distinctly observable at the beginning of a campaign, but 
more so at the close of one. Good officers with well disciplined men 
had caused it to disappear entirely. 

The artillery was carried to a point of perfection in all its exercises 
never before thought of. Our volunteer gunners had from the first 
been wonderfully expert, though it was not merely the straight shoot- 
ing on certain occasions which made a buttery useful. There must 
be care of guns, horses, equipments, and ammunition both in camp 
and when on the march, and a thorough discipline of men and horses 
was necessary to enable a battery to endure a long and arduous cam- 
paign, amid discomforts and privations, without loss of strength or 
spirits, never becoming demoralized at critical moments. There are 
a hundred exigencies with artillery, beyond those known to infantry, 
which render first-class training and discipline enormously profitable 
in a campaign. In the spring of 1863 the volunteer batteries of the 
Second Corps stood side by side with the regulars as par excellence. 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 167 

April 27th. The troops had been moving up to the left since early 
morning indicating that the long anticipated flank movement of Gen- 
eral Hooker was to take place. The battery received orders to be 
in readiness to move early the next morning. 

April 28th. Pleasant and warm. Reveille sounded at three 
a. M., broke camp and packed all surplus baggage and forage in the 
wagons ; the sick were sent to the hospital. Three days' rations 
were issued. At sunrise the battery hitched up and left camp, mov- 
ing in the direction of Falmouth, Lieut. T. Fred. Brown in com- 
mand, Captain Hazard being on sick leave of absence. Large 
bodies of infantry were in motion giving an animated appear- 
ance to the scene in every direction. 

We left our old encampment with pleasant recollections of the 
comforts it had afforded us ; but while we missed our commodious 
huts and the conveniences ingenuity had contrived, we were content 
to dispense with them in looking forward to future victory. 

The battery moved to a high hill, north of the town of Falmouth, 
relieving Pettit's New York Battery at the fortification overlooking 
the north part of Fredericksburg. The First and Third Divisions 
of the Second Corps had left their position in front of the city. 
They had been ordered up to Banks's and United States Fords 
leaving the Second Division, under General Gibbon, to guard the 
fords at Falmouth. Battery G, First Regiment Rhode Island 
Light Artillery, had also been left with the Second Division as Bat- 
tery A, First Rhode Island, had been ordered to go with the Third 
Division instead. The Fifth Corps, General Meade's, the Eleventh, 
General Slocum's, and the Twelfth, General Howard's, were ordered 
up to Kelly's Ford. The advance of our cavalry, under General 
Stoneman, on the 13th instant, had been the signal for a general 
movement of the army ; but after the return of the President and 
his party to Washington the elements had been unpropitious. With 
the down- pouring of floods the Rappahannock increased its propor- 
tions ; the little streams filled to repletion, and the roads rivaled their 
condition in the memorable " mud expedition " of January; so that 
little more could be done than patient waiting, leaving to Sol and 
Boreas full power to repair damages. By their joint industry the 
roads and by-ways had been so far improved that, under the inspira- 
tion of a balmy atmosphere and smiling skies, the army had com- 
menced to move. First by cavalry reconnaissance to the right at 
Kelly's Ford, then down to the left at Port Conway where the troops, 



168 HISTORY QF BATTERY B, [April, 

under General Doubleday, made a show of building bridges and actu- 
ally crossed in boats to the opposite side. While these feints were 
made troops were being massed at the old crossings at Fredericks- 
burg and others sent to the right at Kelly's Ford. 

April 29th. The pieces of Battery B were placed in position in 
the fortification, which had been occupied by Pettit's New York Bat- 
tery through the winter, from here a good view of the northern part 
of Fredericksburg could be had. The camp quarters were pleas- 
antly situated, more so than the winter quarters of Battery B. 
Cannonading was heard down on the left this morning ; the. rebels 
doubled their picket line along our front ; this information was gained 
from a lieutenant who deserted from the enemy and came across to 
our lines. He was taken to General Hooker's headquarters. 

April 30th. Warm light showers. The music had changed this 
morning, and cannonading was heard up to the right, this was from 
the two divisions of the Second Corps which met the enemy's pickets 
as they approached the river at United States Ford. As the 
corps advanced, the pickets retired to the opposite side. The corps 
crossed at about three p. m. Meanwhile General Sedgwick had 
caused to be built four pontoon bridges near the scene of General 
Franklin's crossing in December. Below the city two divisions were 
ordered over, and everything was done to create the belief that the 
real attack against General Lee's right flank was again to be made 
at this point. From the battery's position the men had a good view 
of the advance of these divisions and the skirmish fighting as the 
rebels retreated from the plains to the woods on the hills. It could 
no longer be kept from General Lee's knowledge that the Army of 
the Potomac was in motion. Though it was now impossible to make 
a feint of crossing up to the right, General Hooker manceuvered the 
left wing, consisting of the First, Third and Sixth Corps, with Gen- 
eral Gibbon's division (the Second) of the Second Corps, all under 
command of General Sedgwick, in such a manner that it kept Gen- 
eral Lee gravely perplexed as to his real intentions. The concen- 
tration of the right wing in the vicinity of Chancellorsville had been 
not only brilliant but audacious and accomplished without loss. The 
Third Corps was also ordered up from the left, as soon as the occupa- 
tion of Chancellorsville was assured, which indicated that the coming 
battle would take place at that point. 

May 1st. Pleasant and warm, making very fine weather. Reveille 
at three o'clock this morning ; had orders to hitch up and stood in 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 1 69 

harness all day. Heavy skirmishing was heard on the right ; it was 
reported that all our troops were beyond the Rapidan and in the ene- 
my's rear. A general order was read to the men that the enemy 
would now have to come out and fight us on ground of our own se- 
lection. 

May 2d. Early this morning the right section was ordered to 
hitch up, and the battery remained hitched up by sections all day un- 
der light marching orders. The First Corps recrossed the river 
below Fredericksburg and was ordered up to the right, which left 
only the Sixth Corps and the Second Division of the Second Corps 
in front of Fredericksburg. 

On the 3d, the battery was aroused at 12.30 a. m. and ordered to 
hitcli up as soon as possible. At 1.30 a. m. we pulled out from the for- 
tification and moving down to the left took position on the right of the 
Lacy House thus covering the laying of the pontoon bridge. While 
this work was going on one shot came screeching from a rebel bat- 
tery on the opposite hills and landed in the bank in front of the 
house, which was all the opposition the rebel artillery gave to our 
division in crossing. This was answered by a battery of Parrott guns 
on the left of the Lacy House. By seven a. m. the pontoon bridge 
was finished and the infantry of General Gibbon's division began to 
cross going to the right in front of the town, but his advance to the 
right was stopped by the canal over which it was impossible to lay 
bridges in face of the fire from the enemy's artillery and infantry on 
the hills. Battery B soon followed, the infantry being the first 
battery to cross. It happened in this way : Batteries B and G, 
First Rhode Island Light Artillery, stood in park to the right of the 
Lacy House on the north bank of the river where the batteries were 
hitched up awaiting orders. A staff officer came with orders to the 
battery commanders and meeting first Captain Adams, of Battery G, 
delivered an order to him. Captain Adams immediately commenced 
to move his battery, going toward the road leading to the pontoon 
bridge. As he passed in front of Battery B he sainted the officers and 
said " Good-bye " with an air which indicated his pleasure at the 
honor of leading the way. The staff officer, upon leaving Captain 
Adams, rode up to Lieut. T. Fred. Brown, in command of Battery B, 
and ordered him to report, with his battery, to General Gibbon (in 
Fredericksburg). He was not ordered to follow Captain Adams. 

At the battle of Fredericksburg, in the December previous, Lieu- 
tenant Brown was with Battery C, First Rhode Island Light Artillery, 



170 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [May, 

and consequently was familiar with the roads leading down to the pon- 
toons. There were two, one was long and easy while the other was 
steep and difficult. To the delight of Lieutenant Brown, Captain 
Adams took the easier though longer road, and immediately after the 
last caisson of Battery G had passed the front of Battery B, Lieutenant 
Brown ordered Battery B into column, pulled out and headed for the 
bluff nearly above the pontoon bridge. Upon arriving at the steep 
and difficult road, orders were given to lock the wheels, which was 
instantly executed by the cannoneers who quickly comprehended the 
situation. The descent from the bluff was made in safety, and Bat- 
tery B began to cross the bridge just as Battery G came around the 
bend in the longer road, Captain Adams was forced to halt until Bat- 
tery B had passed on to the bridge. As Lieutenant Brown passed 
Captain Adams lie returned his salute and said " Good bye" with 
the same air and manner that Captain Adams had bestowed upon 
him on the bluff. (The battery commanders were jealous of each 
other and anxious to excel, considering it an honor to lead the way 
or to be first on the field at an engagement.) Thus for the second 
time Battery B was the first battery to cross the pontoons and enter 
the town of Fredericksburg from and in front of the Lacy House. 
On reaching the bank the battery turned to the right following the 
street which ran alongside of the river. After going a short dis- 
tance we turned to the left and passed through the town to an open 
field in front, then Lieutenant Brown gave the command " In bat- 
tery." As this order was being executed, Battery G, First Rhode 
Island, came galloping up on our right and took position. Battery B 
immediately received orders to limber to the rear and moved to the 
left under fire, again taking position near the cemetery and the 
monument of Mary Washington (George Washington's mother). 

We commenced firing at a rebel battery in the fortifications on the 
hill. In this engagement (the storming of Marye's Heights May 
3d) the battery did some very good work, for our shot and shell 
landed right in the embrasures of their fortifications silencing one of 
their guns for a time, while two of them they could not work at all on 
account of our fire. Though we had a good range upon them we 
were fortunate enough not to receive any of their fire. We were 
within too short a range of their works and they could not depress 
the muzzles of their guns enough to bear upon us without coming 
out from behind their forts. Battery G, however, was not so fortu- 
nate, it had one officer and several men killed or wounded and was 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 171 

badly cut up. Battery B was supported through this engagement by 
the Second Rhode Island Regiment (under Col. Horatio Rogers), 
which lay at the rear of the battery ready for a charge if the enemy 
had come out from their works. 

"While the Second Division of the Second Corps was preparing to 
lay their pontoon the Sixth had not been idle while coming up from 
the plains below the town. General Sedgwick's troops had been 
opposed by the pickets of the enemy whose skirmishers he soon 
brushed away and the town was again occupied by our troops. 

It was in the gray of the morning that the advance of the Sixth 
Corps reached the rear and left of Fredericksburg. An old negro 
came into our lines and reported that the heights were occupied in 
force and the enemy was cutting the canal to flood the roads. To 
ascertain the truth of this report caused some delay. Those in com- 
mand were not acquainted with the topography of the surrounding 
country, and consequently the advance was compelled to move with 
great caution through the streets and outskirts of the town. As 
morning dawned Marye's Heights, the scene of the fierce attack of 
our troops last December, was presented to view. 

The troops were speedily moved into position along the open ground 
between the town and heights, this movement discovered the enemy 
in force behind the famous stone wall at the base of the hill. (Gen- 
eral Lee had left General Early with his division and Barksdale's 
brigade, a force of about 10,000 men, to hold Fredericksburg 
Heights.) They were protected by strong works and supported by 
artillery. It was at once felt that a desperate encounter was inevi- 
table and the recollection of our previous disaster was by no means 
inspiriting. 

It was a beautiful Sunday morning the 3d of May. The town 
was perfectly quiet, most of the inhabitants having fled not a person 
could be seen on the streets, while the numerous windows and blinds 
of the houses were closed. The marks of the previous fierce siege 
were everywhere distinctly visible. 

As soon as practicable General Sedgwick prepared to attack the 
Heights. The right of the line by the canal was assigned to Gen- 
eral Gibbon's Second Division, of the Second Corps, which went into 
position while under fire of the enemy's artillery on the hills, 
which was answered by Batteries B and G, of Rhode Island, with 
good effect. The direct attack was made on Marye's Heights by the 
centre troops, consisting of the Third Division, Sixth Corps, under 



172 HISTORY OF BATTEKY B, [May, 

General Newton. Two columns, each marching by fours, were 
formed on the Plank and Telegraph roads, supported on the left by 
four regiments of the Sixth Corps. The right column, under Col- 
onel Spear and composed of the Sixty-first Pennsylvania and the 
Forty-third New York, of the Light Division, was supported by the 
Sixty-seventh New York and Eighty-second Pennsylvania, under 
Colonel Shaler. The left column, under Colonel Johns, including 
the Seventh Massachusetts and the Thirty-sixth New York, was sup- 
ported by the Light Division and the Twenty-third New York in 
line of battle, the Fifth Wisconsin acting as skirmishers. 

An order to advance was given about eleven a. m., and, as the 
columns emerged from the town, the movements of the enemy showed 
that they were preparing to receive the attack. Both columns and 
line advanced on the double-quick without firing a shot until the 
ridge above the dry canal was passed. The enemy meanwhile kept 
up an incessant artillery fire, reserving their musketry fire until our 
men were within easy range. Then came a murderous storm of bul- 
lets from the stone ivall, while shot and shell from the hill above 
burst upon the assaulting troops. For a moment the head of the 
columns was checked and broken. The battle line of blue on the 
green field paused and slightly wavered as if to recover breath. 
Generals Sedgwick and Newton looked on with unconcealed anxiety. 
The suspense was intense. Was it to be victory or defeat? Was 
this place for the second time to be a "slaughter-pen?" Was the 
Sixth Corps to be driven into the river? Staff-officers and aides, 
waving their swords and hurrahing to the men, dashed down the 
Plank and Telegraph roads. A blinding rain of shot pierced the air. 
It was more than human nature could face. The head of the column 
as it reached the lowest part of the decline, near a fork in the road, 
seemed to melt away. Many fell ; others bending low to the earth, 
hurriedly sought shelter in the undulation of the ground, the fences, 
and the wooden structures along the road. Then, as if moved by a 
sudden impulse and nerved for a supreme effort, both columns and 
line in the field simultaneously sprang forward. The stone wall was 
gained and the men were quickly over it. 

The Seventh Massachusetts was leading the left column in the as- 
sault on the stone wall and were within thirty or forty yards of the 
enemy's line when they received a murderous volley. There was an 
exclamation of horror and a momentary wavering amid cries of 
"Retreat! Retreat!" Others yelled " Forward ! don't go back ! 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND RIGHT ARTILLERY. 173 

we shan't get so close up again ! " In front of the stone tvall facing 
down the road was a house standing in a V-shaped plat and enclosed 
by a high board fence. To this goal the men rushed for shelter, this 
gave them a breathing spell. On looking through the board fence 
the enemy's unprotected flank was seen. The word was given and in 
a moment the men rushed to the fence and went through pell-mell 
right upon the rebels' flank, at the same time giving them the con- 
tents of their muskets point blank without aiming. The whole thing 
was a surprise as the enemy were not prepared for anything from 
this quarter, our men having been hidden from them by the house 
and fence. 

This brilliant and successful charge occupied perhaps ten or fifteen 
minutes, and immediately after the stone ivall was carried the enemy 
became panic-stricken. In their flight they threw away guns, can- 
teens, and haversacks, everything that might retard their flight. The 
stone ivaH gained, the heights were also carried at eleven a. m. by the 
advance of the whole line. 

As soon as our infantry had gained the heights Battery B was or- 
dered to limber up, the cannoneers mounted and went on a trot up 
the Plank road in pursuit. On gaining the hill the battery was 
ordered into position and sent a few shot at the fleeing enemy, after 
which we limbered up again and advanced with our division to the 
plain beyond the hill. The battery halted at the right of the road just 
beyond a large barn. The right section, however, under command 
of Lieut. T. Fred. Brown, kept on for a mile or more when it halted 
and again unlimbering sent shot and shell after the retreating foe. 
As the battery reached the summit of the hill an exciting scene met 
the eye. The broad plateau was alive with fleeing Confederates, 
riderless horses were galloping here and there, and others hitched to 
army wagons running hither and thither, while last but not least in 
point of interest could be seen far to the left the Marye's Mansion 
now surrounded by our men advancing in force. 

As Marye's Heights were now in our possession and the enemy on 
the retreat, the Second Division, of the Second Corps, was halted at 
the enemy's second line of defense, while the Sixth Corps continued 
to advance following up the advantage gained. General Gibbon was 
ordered to return in order to hold the town and guard the pontoon 
bridges and fords. Lieutenant Brown, with the first section, re- 
turned when the Second Division of the corps came back and ordered 
the battery to countermarch ; following orders we went through the 



174 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [May, 

town to the pontoon bridge and recrossed the river going up on the 
bluff to the right of the Lacy House, while the guns were placed in 
position to guard the crossing. Here the battery bivouacked for the 
night. 

The storming of Marye's Heights was one of the most prominent 
and bloody events in the second battle of Fredericksburg and was 
accomplished with heavy loss. While our batteries along the lines 
were thundering at the enemy, a plan of assault was determined upon 
which was to attack simultaneously from the right, centre, and left. 
But inasmuch as General Newton's men were successful, being the 
first to penetrate the enemy's line, the advantage thus gained was 
quickly followed by the troops of the right and left attacking col- 
umns pouring in upon the enemy in such numbers as to throw them 
into utter confusion. Many of the foe were slain in their places, in 
the pits where they firmly stood until the last moment, and even then 
resisted as our men clambered over the walls. Meanwhile, on the 
left, matters were somewhat the same, the enemy's line having been 
gained. The right went up along the Plank road taking hill after 
hill, while the Confederates fled at sight hotly pursued. The rebels 
turned at bay several times but continued retreating until they ar- 
rived at Salem Church where they received reinforcements and made 
a formidable stand, and in turn drove our troops in confusion (the 
Sixth Corps). 

The fierceness with which these engagements raged may be judged 
from the fact that the entire loss of General Sedgwick's command 
was about six thousand. He held on until assailed by a superior 
force, and then retired across the river at Banks's Ford in good order. 

May 4th. Things had a different aspect this morning. The 
enemy made their appearance on the top of the hills to the right of 
the town and showed themselves in a large force in the afternoon. 
The right section, under Lieutenant Perrin, was ordered up to Fal- 
mouth to guard the ford. Heavy firing was heard up on the right. 
Our troops still hold the town. The pontoon bridges have been 
made ready to swing so as to be taken up at a moment's notice. 

May 5th. Cloudy and warm, began to rain in the afternoon. 
The Second Division, of the Second Corps, which had held and 
guarded the town, recrossed to the north side of the river and the 
pontoon bridges were taken up, the enemy was again in possession of 
the place. In the afternoon the battery was ordered up to Falmouth 
and went into park in the church-yard, the right section came up from 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 175 

the river and joined the battery. The guns remained in position and 
commanded the ford. The men quartered in the church. At dusk a 
thunder shower came up which turned into a cold storm. It rained 
nearly all night making it very disagreeable for the troops, especially 
for those who had lost their blankets during the engagements. 

May 6th. Still very cold with some rain. General Hooker's 
whole army, the Army of the Potomac, has recrossed to the north 
side of the Rappahannock River. The enemy, General Lee, is in 
possession south of the river. The troops are returning from the 
right in anything but a pleasant mood. 

May 7th. Cold with frequent showers. The enemy's ally " Gen- 
eral Mud " in command ; the rain has again converted the whole 
country, under the tread of men and horses, into a vast morass, 
which rendered traveling and the movements of artillery and trains 
almost next to an impossibility. 

May 8th. The weather still very chilly. The troops were slowly 
returning to their old camps, or else taking up new camping grounds. 
The Second Rhode Island Regiment looked tired, jaded, and forlorn 
as they passed by, and it was not to be wondered at for they had en- 
dured many trials since parting from us on the noon of the 3d in- 
stant, after the capture of Marye's Heights ; but, nevertheless, many 
pleasant words were exchanged as they passed. 

May 10th. The weather changed and it was so pleasant and 
warm that quite a number of the men of the Nineteenth Maine 
Regiment went in bathing, and some went almost across the river to 
the enemy's side. On their return they were placed under arrest and 
confined in the guard-house. A balloon went up to-day from near 
General Hooker's headquarters, to take an observation of the ene- 
my's doings. 

May 12th. Had official notice of General Jackson's (Confederate) 
death. Had camp inspection and still keep three days' rations on 
hand. The weather was very fine and the rebel pickets did a large 
business in fishing, on their side of the river, using both boats and 
seines. 

The pickets on both banks of the river had lately kept up lively 
conversations, bandying jokes like old acquaintances (as indeed many 
were). From one of the Confederate posts in our front came the 
cry: " Where is Joe Hooker now?" "Gone to the funeral of 
Old Stonewall Jackson " was the quick response from our side. The 
answer was deemed sufficient, consequently no further questions were 



176 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [May, 

asked on that point. The troops settled down in their camps and 
things were again quiet on the Rappahannock. 

For some time after the return of the troops, from their nine days' 
campaign, changes were made in the location of many encampments 
prompted by sanitary considerations and comfort. Again the man- 
agement of the artillery of the army was changed which was con- 
sidered a still greater improvement. 

Previous to the fall of 1861 the field artillery was in an unsatis- 
factory condition. The high reputation which it had gained in Mex- 
ico was lost by the active and persistent hostility of the war 
department, which almost immediately dismounted three-fourths of 
its authorized batteries. Congress in 1853 made special provision 
for remounting them as schools of instruction for the army, a duty 
which the war department on shallow pretexts evaded. 

Again in 1861 Congress amply provided for the proper organiza- 
tion and command of the artillery in the field, but as there was no 
chief nor special administration for that arm, and no regulation for 
its government, its organization, control and direction were left to 
the fancies of the various army commanders. General officers were 
practically denied it, and in 1862 the war department announced in 
orders that field officers of artillery were an unnecessary expense 
and their muster into service was forbidden. 

Promotion necessarily ceased, and the able artillerists could only 
receive promotion by transfer to the infantry or cavalry. No ade- 
quate measures were taken for the supply of recruits, and the batte- 
ries were frequently dependent on the infantry of the divisions to 
which they were attached for men enough to work their guns in bat- 
tle. For battery-draft they were often glad to get the refuse horses 
after the ambulance and quartermasters' trains were supplied. Still 
many of the batteries attained a high degree of excellence, due 
mainly to the self-sacrifice, courage and intelligence of their officers 
and men. 

On taking command of the army General Hooker had transferred 
the military command of the artillery to his own headquarters, to be 
resumed by the chief of artillery only under specific orders and for 
special occasions, which resulted in such mismanagement and confu- 
sion at Chancellorsville that he consented to organize the. artillery 
into brigades. This was a decided improvement and would have 
been greater if the brigade commanders had held adequate rank. 

Of the fourteen brigades organized four were commanded by field 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 177 

officers, nine by captains, and one by a lieutenant taken from their 
batteries for the purpose. The number of field batteries was sixty- 
five of 370 guns, 212 with the infantry, fifty with the cavalry, and 
108 in the reserve. 

May 13th. Pleasant and warm. The battery still lay bivouacked 
near the church. At roll call in the afternoon the following order 
was read, viz. : 

Headquarters Army of the Potomac, 
Camp near Falmouth, Va., 
Special Orders, { May 12, 1863. 

No. 129. i 

In consequence of the reduction of the strength of the infantry, of the 
divisions, a consolidation and reduction of the artillery, attached to the 
Army Corps, will be effected. 

The artillery assigned to each corps will constitute a brigade under the 
command of the chief of artillery of the corps, who will be responsible 
to the commander of the corps and to the chief of artillery of the 
army for the command and administration. 

The following named batteries, now serving with divisions of the Sec- 
ond Corps, will report without delay to Brig.-Gen. R. O. Tyler, command- 
ing artillery reserve: Battery C, Fourth United States Artillery, Lieu- 
tenant Thomas commanding; Battery B, First New York Artillery, 
Captain Pettit commanding; Battery G, First New York Artillery, Lieu- 
tenant Ames commanding; Battery G, First Rhode Island Artillery, 
Captain Adams commanding. 

The batteries remaining with the corps will be completed to a thor- 
ough state of efficiency with the number of guns they now have by the 
transfer of sufficient of such men, of the remaining batteries of the 
corps, as are attached from the infantry. 

The artillery ammunition train of the batteries attached to corps will 
be reorganized and placed under the direction of the commandant of 
artillery of the corps. The supplies will be transferred to the artillery 
reserve. 

By command of Major General HOOKER. 

(Signed,) 

S. Williams, A. A. G. 

The artillery brigade of the Second Corps consisted of Battery A, 
Fourth United States Artillery, Lieut. A. H. dishing commanding ; 
Battery I, First United States Artillery, Lieut. C. Kirby command- 
ing ; Battery A, First Rhode Island Artillery, Capt. W. A. Arnold 
commanding ; Battery B., First Rhode Island Artillery, Capt. J. G. 
Hazard commanding; under the command of Lieut. -Col. C. H. 
Morgan, assistant inspector general of Second Corps, G. L. Dwight, 
first lieutenant Rhode Island Light Artillery, acting adjutant. 

12 



178 HISTORY. OF BATTERY B, [May, 

On May loth, after mounted battery inspection in the morning, 
Lieut. T. Fred. Brown received orders to move down to the left on 
the bluff in the fortification which has been occupied by Battery G, 
First Rhode Island, that battery now being placed in the reserve, 
Battery B takes its place in the breastworks. The men were kept 
quite busy in cleaning and fixing up the quarters, the guns were 
placed in position in the earthworks, which had a commanding 
point above the ford and quite an extending range of the north part 
of Fredericksburg. 

On the 16th, Sergt. John E. Wardlow was detached to acting ser- 
geant-major of the artillery brigade, and left the battery and reported 
to headquarters for duty. 

For the past few days the weather had been pleasant and warm, 
and only the regular routine of camp duty was performed. 

The camp life of a battery is diversified with a variety of calls, 
sounded by the bugle. First comes reveille, announcing what is not 
always the fact, that " tired nature's sweet restorer" has done all 
the night work craved. But the voice of the bugle is inexorable, 
and the half wakened sleeper tumbles out, wondering at the hasty 
departure of the sable goddess, and breathing a wish that " sweet 
forgetfulness of life " could have been protracted another hour. 
Then follow stable and feed calls for the drivers to feed, groom and 
care for the animals ; and next police call for the cannoneers to 
clean the camp. Breakfast call follows when the men are formed 
into line and march, headed by the sergeant of the day, to the cook 
department (if fortunate to have one), and there receive a pint of hot 
coffee and a rasher of salt (horse) beef or salt pork. Sick call next 
for those who wish to be excused from manual labor during the next 
twenty-four hours. They form in line and are escorted by the first 
sergeant to the surgeon's quarters, where they receive a potion of 
salts or pills to be taken on the premises. Now comes the call for 
guard mounting, after which the water call for the drivers and those 
taking care of the animals to go with them to some creek or river to 
drink of that sparkling southern water which looks, after a rain, like 
so much milk spoiled with treacle. Drill call comes next, weather 
permitting. Stable call again, and then dinner call. Drill call 
again, and late in the afternoon water call again, which is followed 
by stable call, and as night approaches the retreat call is sounded at 
which the men assemble and form in line and the roll of detachments 
is called. The next is supper call. At nine o'clock r*. jr. tattoo is 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 179 

sounded and the men retire to their quarters. Taps soon follow 
when lights are extinguished, mirthful voices are silent, and sleepers 
go off to dreamland, while others spend a wakeful hour in speculation 
as to what the morrow may bring forth. To these calls should be 
added that of boots and saddles which is sounded when the battery is 
to be hitched up for any purpose. The assembly call is sounded 
at any time the command is wanted to be called together. 

For some time after the return of the army from its nine days' 
headquarters in the saddle campaign, changes were made in the lo- 
cation of many of the encampments of the troops prompted by sani- 
tary considerations. Many of the camps had been tastefully ar- 
ranged with an eye to comfort, but war assures " no constancy in 
earthly things," and, judging from the past as well as present signs, 
we looked upon our abode as only temporary. At this season of the 
year the valley of the Rappahannock was clad in picturesque gar- 
ments, though it showed many unseemly rents. From Acquia Creek 
Landing to Falmouth the woodman's axe had spared but little of the 
forests with which it had been heavily covered ; excepting a clump 
of trees here and there or an occasional large grove, countless stumps 
alone told of the deep shades that, during the heat of summer, had 
been the pleasant retreat of the numerous feathered and animal 
tribes. 

On the 17th, the weather was fine. The balloon was sent up 
again, and there was a little more activity among the troops. Lieut. 
Col. C. H. Morgan, who had had command of the artillery brigade 
since its organization, turned over the brigade to the senior artillery 
officer, Capt. William A. Arnold, of Battery A, First Rhode Island 
Light Artillery, who was present for duty ; this was in accordance 
with order No. 114 from Second Corps headquarters, May 16, 1863. 

May 18th. It was a busy day with the men in preparing equip- 
ments, pieces, caissons, horses and themselves ready for a move of 
some kind. The activity inspired the men with new life, while 
" Dame Rumor" circulated all sorts of reports ; as for the men they 
could do nothing but impatiently await the issue. 

On the 19th, at reveille, there was no loitering in the quarters, for 
the men were up and stirring around betimes. Their night's repose 
had not made them forgetful of the excitement and speculations of 
the previous day. 

During the duties of the morning the question, " What does this 
activity mean ?" still remained unanswered. About nine a. m. an 



180 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [May, 

aide from the artillery headquarters galloped into camp, and, going to 
the officers' quarters delivered papers, saluted, and was off again. 
Would those papers settle the question? They did. 

Headquarters Artillery Brigade 2d Army Corps, 

May 15, 1S63. 
Special Orders, } 
No. 3. J 

(Extract.) 

Battery B, First Rhode Island Light Artillery, will report to General 
Owen on the plain near the Lacy House, this day as near two p. m. as 
practicable, for the purpose of a drill in co-operation with his command. 

By order of 

Capt. W. A. ARNOLD, 
1st R. I. Lt. Art., coni'dg Brigade. 

After our surprise at the contents of the papers speculation dropped 
100 per cent. " Dame Rumor " immediately took wings and flitted 
away. After all, our active and extensive preparations were simply 
for a division drill, and the men had to abide by the decision. At 
half-past one Battery B, Lieut. T. Fred. Brown commanding, left its 
camp at the fortification and going down to the plain took their place 
in line with Owen's brigade. At the commencement of the drill 
the battery executed, with the infantry, a number of field move- 
ments which were very easy to perform, on an open plain, with no 
enemy to object ; these manoeuvres were very instructive both to the 
infantry and artillery, as well as to those who witnessed it. At four 
p. M. the battery returned to its camp well pleased with the drill and 
the part it had performed ; having been highly complimented on the 
fine appearance of its men, and the manner and ease with which the 
movements were executed. 

The 20th was very quiet in camp until after dinner, when orders 
were given to prepare for mounted inspection. At half-past one the 
battery was hitched up and pulled out from the breastworks to a level 
field to the right and rear of our camp, where it went into park and 
then into battery with the cannoneers at their posts. About two 
o'clock p. m. Captain Arnold, of Battery A, First Rhode Island 
Light Artillery, commanding artillery brigade, accompanied by his 
staff and First Lieut. T. F. Brown, passed around and through the 
battery on an inspection, asking questions of both drivers and can- 
noneers. At the conclusion of the inspection the battery was dis- 
missed and ordered back to quarters, upon reaching which the men 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 181 

could no longer restrain their mirth, but burst out with a hearty- 
laugh at what had transpired in one of the detachments during the 
inspection. To explain the cause we will start from the beginning: 
When the order to prepare for inspection was given we knew there 
were to be no field movements nor drill at the manual of the piece, 
only to take position in battery and cannoneers at posts fully equipped 
as for action. Upon the issuing of these orders to a battery 
there commenced a scene of great activity about camp ; uniforms 
were brushed and cleaned, boots blacked, sabres and scabbards 
brightened, gun and caisson equipments put into their proper places, 
harnesses overhauled, and everything put into as good shape as cir- 
cumstances would allow. The battery, at this time, happened to be 
short of cannoneers, required to fill all the posts of the gun detach- 
ments, on account of many being detailed for extra work ; those on 
guard were not required to attend the inspections nor the supernu- 
meraries, which included the cooks, those caring for extra horses, 
drivers of the battery wagons and forge, and officers' servants. 
There were two or three men in the battery who, unfortunately, 
must have been born under an " awkward star." They had been 
drilled and drilled, but all to no purpose, for, after months of training 
and service, the only occasion upon which they equaled their com- 
rades was when they drew their pay and rations. They were, how- 
ever, kept in the battery with the supernumeraries because they had to 
be somewhere. A first class cannoneer had to be cool, intelligent, 
keen, and quick to understand, also being able to perform the duties 
of two or more posts .at the gun, as was often necessary when in ac- 
tion. A slow, awkward person should hold no place in a gun detach- 
ment of light artillery ; he could better find his level in the infantry 
where in action they worked more individually, and, after a manner, 
each was a power in himself and any awkwardness would not mate- 
rially interfere with the working of his comrades. On the contrary 
a gun detachment of artillery was like a machine, no one worked in- 
dividually but all in unison and with the precision of clock-work, 
every man on time and in time ; one mistake or awkward movement 
would cause confusion and tend to dire results. An observer unac- 
quainted with the fine points of artillery drill, but aware of the unity 
of action required, would naturally suppose that, when in action, if 
one or two men were suddenly disabled it would cause confusion 
and retard its working ; but such was not the case, provision was 
made for casualties but none for mistakes or blunders. In drilling 



182 HISTORY- OF BATTERY B, [May, 

the men were taught to work at " reduced numbers." Each man in 
position was known by a number when on drill or in action, and not 
by name, as: No. 1, who rams home the cartridge ; No. 2, who 
inserts the cartridge, and so on ; each number had a certain part to 
perform. 

When cannoneers were killed or disabled their duties were imme- 
diately assumed by the survivors ; and by their increased activity 
the gun was served with apparently the same regularity and precision 
as before. Considering that there were to be no drill or field move- 
ments during this inspection, the awkward men were assigned to gun 
detachments for the occasion as before stated. AVhen ready the in- 
spector, a smart appearing artillery officer " dressed in his Sunday 
best," started on the round of inspection examining critically every 
man, gun, carriage, horse, and all equipments, etc. At times the 
inspector would stop suddenly at a gun and, placing his hand on 
some part, would inquire of a cannoneer, calling by number, " What 
is this ? " Every part of a gun or carriage has a name, for instance : 
the gun has the bore, muzzle, face of muzzle, muzzle band, swell at 
muzzle, neck, chace, trunions, reenforce, vent, breach, cascable, 
neck of cascable, knob of cascable, etc. The men were supposed to 
answer promptly any questions asked. The inspector passed slowly 
along when suddenly he stopped, and, placing his hand on the face of 
the gun, said : " No. 2, what is this? " No. 2 looked at the offi- 
cer and then at the gun but did not reply. (He was one of the 
supernumeraries.) The inspector sharply repeated the question. No. 
2, now realizing that he must answer, hesitatingly replied: " The 
end of the gun, sir." This answer staggered the officer, who, giving 
one glance at No. 2, appeared to take in the situation ; he then 
passed quickly to the rear of the gun where stood No. 4, a sharp, 
quick-witted, rollicking Irishman, who was well posted and could 
answer correctly any question pertaining to his duty. The inspector 
placed his hand on the knob of the cascable, the extreme rear end 
of the gun, and said: " No. 4, what is this?" Quick as a flash 
came the reply, "The other end, sir!" This answer paralyzed 
the inspector, who, followed by the other officers, quickly left the gun 
as if in fear it, as well as themselves, would explode. A few mo- 
ments later the battery was dismissed and the men returned to their 
quarters to give vent to their pent up laughter. 

May 25th. The past two weeks, in general, had not been unlike 
their predecessors since the return of the troops from Chancellorsville. 




Capt. John G. Hazard. 

BREVET BRIG. GEN. 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 183 

The weather had continued to bestow upon us a mingling of sunshine 
and cloud, hot days and cool nights (the sure precursors of typhoid 
and " chills"), and the warm pleasant weather of the past few days 
had caused the effects of rain and mud to disappear leaving the fields 
and roads very passable. There had been more activity, however, 
than may have appeared to those at a distance. Road-building, 
picket duties, reconnaissances of the cavalry, with an occasional brush 
of a more serious character (in all of which Battery B took no part), 
had filled up the time, and, though our entire line occupied mainly the 
north bank of the Rappahannock River, in preparation and renewed 
energy our ti'oops possessed advantages that promised well for the 
future. 

Capt. John G. Hazard returned to the battery from sick leave, 
looking hearty and well and reported for duty. By virtue of being 
the senior officer in rank of the artillery officers, he assumed com- 
mand of the artillery brigade of the Second Army Corps, in accord- 
ance with special order, No. 114, May 16, 1863, from headquarters 
of the Second Corps. Captain Hazard being on detached service 
Battery B was still under the command of First Lieut. T. Fred. 
Brown. 

May 29th. Pleasant and warm. Little could be known of mili- 
tary affairs outside of our own encampment. All that came to us 
from headquarters (except by orders) was borne on the wings of 
rumor and was received with liberal deduction ; facts aud many fic- 
tions reached us by this lightning messenger so instantly, that by the 
time orders reached their destination their contents were " stale and 
flat." " Dame Rumor," however, to-day brought news which we 
hoped would not be so stale, it was the paymaster's appearance 
at brigade headquarters, and, of all visitors, to the army, the pay- 
master received the warmest welcome. Happily, we were not 
doomed to disappointment, for at four p. M. assembly call sounded, 
and the men were quickly ordered into line and marched to the tent 
occupied by the paymaster and his clerk. The officers were paid 
first, then the non-commissioned officers, next the privates in alpha- 
betical order. If any one was out of camp, on detail, and not able to 
be present, the officer in command generally signed for the absent one 
and received the money, handing it to the owner upon his return to 
camp. The men of Battery B were paid for the months of March 
and April 1863. 

May 30th. For a month past the weather and the Rappahannock 



184 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [May, 

River had afforded piscatory attractions, and, for a time, both rebel 
and Union pickets had improved the opportunity of varying their ra- 
tion to a fish diet. Suddenly, sundry citizens of Falmouth were 
smitten with a desire for the scaly luxury, and repaired with sus- 
picious frequency to the river, ostensibly to fish or make purchases, 
but really, it was believed, to communicate intelligence to the rebels. 
This led to an order prohibiting angling on the part of our pickets, 
and a notice to the enemy that if they persisted in the practice they 
would be fired upon. " So ended all display of Waltonian skill," 
and no longer, except by stealth, did the ichthyous family " greedily 
suck in the twining bait " of Unionist or secesh. 

May 31st. Reveille at five o'clock a. m. Pleasant and warm. 
Last night, about midnight, the left section, under the command of 
Lieutenant Milne, was ordered to hitch up on the double-quick and 
left camp going down to the river, by the old church in Falmouth, to 
do picket duty and command the fishing ground. This was in con- 
sequence of the enemy still persisting to fish after being notified by 
the commanding general to desist. 

The general commanding the division at Falmouth by the fol- 
lowing order was authorized to render such assistance to the pickets 
as might be needed : 

Headquarters 2d Army Corps, 
May 30, 1863. 
Circular Order. 

The major-general commanding the Army of the Potomac having no- 
tified the commander of the enemy's troops opposite to us that seine 
fishing must cease on the Rappahannock between the armies, you will 
give such orders to the officer of the day of the division pickets as will 
cause such practices to cease. 

The officer of the day will give such verbal notifications to persons 
apparently intending to violate this order as may be convenient, in order 
that innocent persons may not suffer. Such notifications will not be re- 
peated after the first attempt at violation of the same, and all offenders 
will be fired on. 

If assistance is required in the matter it will be furnished by Briga- 
dier-General Gibhon commanding Second Division. 

By command of 

Major-General HANCOCK. 

(Signed,) Jno. S. Schultze, 

Captain and A. A. A. G. 
[Official.] 

H'd. Qrt's Art'y Brig. 2d A. Corps, May 31st. 
L. G. DwKiHT, 1st Lieut, Act. Adft. 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 185 

At early dawn, when the fog began to rise and the opposite side 
of the river was clearly discernible, the rebels could be seen prepar- 
ing their boats and seines for the usual morning's occupation. There 
was also more activity among the Union pickets ; their force had 
been doubled during the morning. The cannoneers of the left sec- 
tion of Battery B were at their posts watching events. We saw an 
officer of the enemy approach the fishermen, and, by his gesticula- 
tions and attitude, appeared to be holding a spirited conversation with 
those in the boats, which, in the meantime, were drifting from the 
shore and down the river. A squad of rebel infantry was seen to 
approach the officer and halt. Their appearance seemed to bring the 
rebs in the boats to the sense of the situation ; returning to the shore 
they disembarked and hauled the boats up on the bank going off 
towards Fredericksburg with the seines and other trappings on their 
shoulders. Thus the fishing expeditions were brought to a close, and 
all chance of exchanging or sending information to the enemy from 
our lines was stopped. 

The battery did not have the usual Sunday inspection after the 
regular duties of the morning were over, but passes were given to 
those who wished to visit friends at other camps, or visit the village 
sutler to exchange government greenbacks for such luxuries as to- 
bacco, butter, cheese, molasses cookies, peaches in brandy, and many 
other articles which were not issued to the soldiers from the quarter- 
master's department. The battery received another lot of clothing 
to-day. 

June 1st. The weather for the past few days had been so dry that 
clouds of dust filled the air, which was anything but pleasant ; let one 
take a drive of a few miles and their clothes would look as if they 
had been at work in a flour mill. Our quartermaster-sergeant took 
our new pants and jackets back to Acquia Creek, and exchanged 
them for those worn by artillerymen, as those sent us were for 
infantry. 

On the 2d, Lieut. T. Fred. Brown entertained a number of visiting 
officers by a drill of the cannoneers at the manual of the piece. In 
the afternoon clothing was issued. 

On the 3d, there were indications of a general movement. 
There was more activity among the troops than there had been for 
some time, while the Sixth Corps received marching orders and 
packed up. 

June 4th. The activity increased and it was rumored that Gen- 



188 



HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [Juiie r 



CHAPTER XVI. 



THE CAMPAIGN AND BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG. 

WHEN it became certain that Lee's array was in motion 
(he commenced to move June 8, 1863,) it only remained 
for the Army of the Potomac to follow his example, as- 
certain his designs and thwart his purposes, or, what was better, 
compel him to surrender. Preparatory to our leaving the base of 
supplies and the withdrawal of the army from Falmouth, the sick 
and wounded were transferred to the hospitals of Washington and 
vicinity, and the army stores, not needed for immediate use, secured 
on board transports. Materials not worth removing were destroyed, 
so that the village of government buildings, at Acquia Creek Land- 
ing, so lately teeming with busy life and gleaming with weapons of 
war, suddenly became as desolate as " the wide waste of all devour- 
ing years." 

For the past two weeks the eyes of the whole country had been 
fixed with anxious gaze upon the two opposing armies, separated by 
the Rappahannock, watching each other with the mutual conscious- 
ness of having an able foe to deal with. Movements and counter- 
movements had been made without materially changing their rela- 
tions. What the outcome was to be could only be anticipated. 

June 12th was a day of rest, the men were not called upon to do 
any duty but to care for the horses. Received official notice of General 
Pleasanton's cavalry engagement with the enemy's cavalry, near 
Brandy Station on the 9th instant, capturing 200 men and one battle 

On the 13th, the weather was fine being pleasant and warm. At 
noon the following order was received : 



1863.] first rhode island light artillery. 189 

Headquarters Second Army Corps, 

June 13, 1863. 
Special Orders, \ 
No. 140. J 

"Extract." 

In case of a movement the following directions will be observed by- 
commanders: All calls may be sounded as usual except such as indicate 
a move. No property will be burnt or fires lighted that will attract un- 
usual attention. Tbe tents will not be struck until a movement is or- 
dered. Three days' cooked rations are to be issued to the men, to be 
carried in their haversacks, and five days' cooked rations to be carried 
iu tbe wagons including the supply of forage. Tbe order of march will 
be First Division, Third Division, and Second Division, as rear guard. 
The artillery will move as hereafter indicated. 

[Official.] 
By order of Major General HANCOCK, 

ConVdg Second Corps. 
G. L. Dwight, 

First Lieut. First R. I. L. Art, Adjt. of Art. Brig. 

June 14th. Reveille at sunrise, cloudy and cool. All was quiet 
on the opposite side of the river, there were not many rebels to be 
seen stirring about. The sick call was sounded an hour earlier than 
usual, and for a wonder no one responded. 

About three p. m. orders were received at battery headquarters, 
and, at four p. m. three days' rations of pork, hard-tack, coffee, and 
sugar were issued to the men. Next, stable call, at five o'clock, when 
the horses were watered, fed and groomed. Supper call was sounded 
at six o'clock, and about seven p. M. the assembly call sounded when 
orders were given to quietly pack up, and to harness the horses and 
hitch up the battery. As soon as this was done the battery pulled 
out from the breastworks, and parked beside the Telegraph road 
headed north. 

The battery was under the command of First Lieut. T. Fred. 
Brown; the right section under First Lieut. W. S. Perrin ; the left 
section under Second Lieut. C. A. Brown ; while the battery wagon, 
forge, forage wagons, spare horses, and supernumeraries were under 
the charge of First Sergt. John T. Blake. Here the battery waited 
until about eight p. m., when the following orders were given: 
" Battery at-ten-tion ! drivers prepare to mount — mount — first piece 
forward into line — march ! " The battery then moved, leaving Fal- 
mouth and Fredericksburg behind, marching in a northerly direction 
our destination unknown. 



188 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [June r 



CHAPTER XVI 



THE CAMPAIGN AND BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG. 

WHEN it became certain that Lee's army was in motion 
(he commenced to move June 8, 1868,) it only remained 
for the Army of the Potomac to follow his example, as- 
certain his designs and thwart his purposes, or, what was better, 
compel him to surrender. Preparatory to our leaving the base of 
supplies and the withdrawal of the army from Falmouth, the sick 
and wounded were transferred to the hospitals of Washington and 
vicinity, and the army stores, not needed for immediate use, secured 
on board transports. Materials not worth removing were destroyed, 
so that the village of government buildings, at Acquia Creek Land- 
ing, so lately teeming with busy life and gleaming witli weapons of 
Avar, suddenly became as desolate as " the wide waste of all devour- 
ing years." 

For the past two weeks the eyes of the whole country had been 
fixed with anxious gaze upon the two opposing armies, separated by 
the Rappahannock, watching each other with the mutual conscious- 
ness of having an able foe to deal with. Movements and counter- 
movements had been made without materially changing their rela- 
tions. What the outcome was to be could only be anticipated. 

June 12th was a day of rest, the men were not called upon to do 
any duty but to care for the horses. Received official notice of General 
Pleasanton's cavalry engagement with the enemy's cavalry, near 
Brandy Station on the 9th instant, capturing 200 men and one battle 
flag. 

On the 13th, the weather was fine being pleasant and warm. At 
noon the following order was received : 



1863.] first rhode island light abtilleby. 189 

Headquabtebs Si --■ oxd Army Cobps, 

June 13, 1863. 
Sp< cial Orders, i 
No. 140. J 

"Extract."' 

In case of a movement the following directions will be observed by 
commanders: All calls may be sounded as usual except such as indicate 
a move. No property will be burnt or fires lighted that will attract un- 
usual attention. The tents will not be struck until a movement is or- 
dered. Three days' cooked rations are to be issued to the men, to be 
carried in their haversacks, and five days' cooked rations to be carried 
in the wagons including the supply of forage. The order of march will 
be First Division, Third Division, and Second Division, as rear guard. 
The artillery will move as hereafter indicated. 

[Official.] 
By order of Major General HANCOCK, 

Corri'dg Second Corps. 
G. L. Dwight, 

First Lieut. First E. I. L. Art, Adjt. of Art. Brig. 

June 14th. Reveille at sunrise, cloudy and cool. All was quiet 
on the opposite side of the river, there were not many rebels to be 
seen stirring about. The sick call was sounded an hour earlier than 
usual, and for a wonder no one responded. 

About three p. m. orders were received at battery headquarters, 
and, at four p. m. three days' rations of pork, hard-tack, coffee, and 
sugar were issued to the men. Next, stable call, at five o'clock, when 
the horses were watered, fed and groomed. Supper call was sounded 
at six o'clock, and about seven p. m. the assembly call sounded when 
orders were given to quietly pack up, and to harness the horses and 
hitch up the battery. As soon as this was done the battery pulled 
out from the breastworks, and parked beside the Telegraph road 
headed north. 

The battery was under the command of First Lieut. T. Fred. 
Brown; the right section under First Lieut. W. S. Perrin ; the left 
section under Second Lieut. C. A. Brown ; while the battery wagon, 
forge, forage wagons, spare horses, and supernumeraries were under 
the charge of First Sergt. John T. Blake. Here the battery waited 
until about eight p. if., when the following orders were given: 
" Battery at-ten-tion ! drivers prepare to mount — mount — first piece 
forward into line — march ! " The battery then moved, leaving Fal- 
mouth and Fredericksburg behind, marching in a northerly direction 
our destination unknown. 



190 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [Jlllie, 

We marched all night and arrived at Stafford Court House about 
4.30 A. M., June 15th. Here we bivouacked, first placing the pieces 
in position in battery facing the direction from which we came. The 
men then prepared breakfast ; hot coffee, toasted pork, and fried hard- 
tack comprising the bill of fare. 

The reason the battery faced to the rear was, that the Second 
Corps was rearguard to the army and Battery B was with the Second 
Division, General Gibbon's, which was to bring up the rear. On en- 
tering the village we found most of the buildings in flames, having 
been fired by stragglers from the preceding column. The place con- 
sisted of a court-house, jail, and perhaps half a dozen rusty looking 
dwellings, with a few outbuildings, and presented an appearance 
neither interesting nor attractive. 

We halted here until about ten A. M. when the battery was ordered 
to hitch up, and we were soon on the move again leaving the right 
section, Lieutenant Perrin in command, on a knoll by the side of the 
road as guard. The rest of the battery, after going on for about half 
a mile, took position in battery on a high hill commanding the 
road for some distance back. The right section arrived about eleven 
a. M. ; the rest of the battery limbered up, and pulled out into the 
road resuming the onward march, and, about one p. in., reached Ac- 
quia Creek which we forded without any accident, and halted a short 
distance from the ford. After a short rest we were ordered to pro- 
ceed about half a mile further to rising ground, where we took 
position in battery, in an open field, and bivouacked for the night. 
The day had been intensely hot, and the march, through the dusty 
roads, proved most fatiguing to the men, hundreds of whom fell out 
of the infantry columns. There were numerous cases of sunstroke 
and all the ambulances of the corps were brought into service, at the 
rear of the column, to bring forward those who could not keep up 
with their commands. 

About midnight the bivouac of the Second Division of the Second 
Corps was rudely disturbed by hideous outcries, and men rushed 
hither and thither among frightened mules and horses. Headquar- 
ters turned out in dire alarm, and the soldiers, awakened suddenly 
from the deep slumber which followed a painful march, seized their 
arms. The coolest believed that a band of guerillas, hanging upon 
the flank of the column, had taken advantage of the darkness and 
dashed in among the sleeping troops. The battery was aroused and 
cannoneers ordered to their posts ready for action, while the drivers 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 191 

commenced to harness the horses. It was finally discovered that all 
the fright was caused by a soldier being seized with nightmare, and 
his frightful screams had alarmed the guards. 

June 16th. Reveille at 2.30 a. m. We were ordered to hitch up 
and at three a. m. the battery resumed the march, and, arriving at 
Dumfries about seven a. m., passed through the village and halted. 
A century ago this town was of some importance in a business 
point of view ; but now it was a dirty looking place inhabited by 
"poor white trash" (the F. F. Vs. point of view). So far our 
march had been through a thinly populated region. The battery 
stopped at Dumfries two hours, allowing the men time to get break- 
fast and feed and water the horses ; three days' rations were also issued. 

At nine a. m. we were on the march again, which, like that of the 
previous day, was one of great fatigue ; it was not so hot, but many of 
the men were sunstruck, falling by the way. The battery crossed 
the Occoquan Creek, by the ford at Wolf Run Shoals, and, going a 
short distance, halted on the left of the Telegraph road, and bivou- 
acked for the night at eight p. M. ; the tired men were soon in the 
arms of sweet repose dreaming perhaps of home and friends. 

On the 17th, reveille was not sounded until long after sunrise. 
After the usual morning duties, the jaded troops and horses had an 
opportunity to refresh themselves by bathing in the clear running 
water of the Occoquan, a luxury not always obtainable. The coun- 
try through which we had passed was very hilly, making the march 
most fatiguing, and the welcome rest, which the battery had, was 
greatly appreciated by both man and beast. It was one p. m. before 
the battery packed up and resumed the march, traveling very slowly, 
until about six p. m. when we reached Sangster's Station, on the 
Virginia Midland and Alexandria Railroad, and bivouacked. 

On the 18th, the battery remained in camp until near night, when, 
as ordered, it hitched up and went back across the railroad, to the 
First Division, and took position in battery on picket to guard 
against a surprise, remaining on duty all night. All was quiet. 
There wex - e light showers, during the night, which cooled the air and 
made it very comfortable for sleeping. 

On the 19th, the corps resumed the march at early morning, the 
Second Division and Battery B as rear guard. Yesterday the Sixth 
Corps went to Fairfax Court House, which is twenty-one miles Avest 
of Washington city, and, until the Rebellion broke out, was a quiet 
little village of two hundred or three hundred inhabitants. Now it 



192 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [June, 

was a dirty looking place and bore all the marks of having been under 
the curse of secession. In a military point of view its importance, at 
this time, arose from the fact that it commanded the Warren ton 
turnpike leading to Centreville, seven miles beyond, and thence across 
Bull Run, at Stone Bridge, to Little River turnpike and the road 
leading to Vienna. 

At one p. M. the battery resumed the march again with caissons 
in front. The weather was cool with frequent light showers. In ac- 
cordance with circular order from headquarters of the army, under date 
of June 18th, the officers of batteries were placed under light march- 
ing orders, and the light wagon, which was used to carry their bag- 
gage and battery headquarters supplies, had been sent to the chief 
of ambulance brigade of the corps, together with the battery ambu- 
lance. 

The battery reached Centreville about seven p. m., halted, then 
moved to the left and placed the guns in position in the fortifications, 
which had been built in 1862, and bivouacked for the night. 

On the 20th, reveille at five a. m., but it was noon before the bat- 
tery resumed the march, and, going in a southwesterly direction, 
passed over the old Bull Run battle-ground of July 21, 1861. Here 
could be seen bones of every part of the human body protruding out 
of the ground, the ravages of time and the rain having washed away 
the earth with which the dead were covered, in their hasty burial, 
after that eventful meeting of the Union and Confederate forces. 
The battery crossed Bull Run Creek, by the Stone Bridge, then left 
the turnpike road going southerly, and, leaving Groveton to the 
north, passed through Gainesville and Haymarket to Thoroughfare 
Gap. Here Ave halted about nine p. m. and bivouacked for the 
night. 

Early on the morning of the 21st, the battery was ordered to move 
to the left of the road, on a hill near General Hancock's headquar- 
ters, where we placed the guns in battery and bivouacked awaiting 
orders . 

From the 21st to the 24th, the battery remained encamped near head- 
quarters as a guard. Close by was a small stream of cool, clear water 
which received prompt attention. During the hot, dusty march from 
the Rappahannock, over the old corduroy roads, the men's clothing 
became very dirty, and, now that there was a chance to improve 
their looks and appearance, they made use of time and water. The 
men consequent!}' were very busy washing shirts and socks, brush- 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 193 

ing the dust from their clothing, until finally they did not look like 
the same troops that stopped there two days previous. 

On the 23d, the supply wagons, from the train, came up to camp 
and the battery received a fresh supply of forage and rations. The 
visitor who, at this moment, would meet the warmest welcome was 
the post-courier. No mail had been received for the past two weeks 
and tidings from loved ones at home were greatly missed. 

Life in camp and life on the march had some features in common, 
yet in prominent characteristics they differed. In the former mo- 
notony soon rules, and when off duty weariness of spirit generally 
pervades. In the latter there is a constant shifting of scene to re- 
fresh the eye, a prospect of adventure that feeds the imagination, 
and an amount of fatigue that gives sweetness to the slumbers of 
the bivouac. Then again if, as it sometimes happened, rations were 
scarce, foraging by the way became an agreeably exciting episode in 
matters gustatory. On the route salt beef and hard-tack were often 
diversified with poultry, 'eggs, milk, fresh meat, and vegetables pur- 
chased, of course, with governmental scrip, or Secesh shinplasters, 
but oftener with an k *I promise to pay " order on the quartermaster. 
A very proper order against pillaging existed, which I fear a man 
of unbounded stomach, stimulated by the incentive of savory meat, 
may have less scrupulously observed than conformed with due rever- 
ence to the law. If any such exceptional cases did occur, and, in 
some unexplained way, a barn-yard representative found its way into 
camp, charity remembered how hard it must have been for men, un- 
der the potent sway of appetite and the tempting presence of dainties, 
to " defy that which they love most tenderly," and, therefore, spread 
her mantle over the deed. 

June 25th. Reveille at sunrise, pleasant and warm. While the 
men were preparing their morning meal the pickets, in the vicinity 
of Thorougfare Gap, were heard firing quite lively. The battery 
was ordered to hitch up double-quick, and, moving toward the Gap, 
some five hundred yards, came into battery and remained there for 
about an hour, when, the firing having ceased and all being quiet, 
the battery was ordered back to their camp at headquarters. About 
eight a. m. the right section, under command of Lieutenant Perrin, 
was ordered up near the Gap. The troops had commenced leaving 
the vicinity early in the morning, the trains in advance, while the bat- 
tery, with the Second Division, was again rear guard to the corps. 
At about ten a. m., everything being in readiness to leave, the bat- 

13 



194 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [J line, 

tery pulled out into the road headed for Haymarket, the caissons 
were sent on in advance. The enemy's cavalry were hanging around 
the rear of our army, and, - from their position, had a view of our line 
of march as it turned north from Haymarket ; here they had posted 
a battery and commenced to shell our troops and trains as they passed. 

With cannoneers mounted, Battery B proceeded on a walk while 
the woods hid it from the enemy, but just before the opening was 
reached the order was given to trot, the flash and bursting of the shell, 
upon gaining the clearing, started the frightened horses into a gallop. 
Led by Lieut. T. Fred. Brown the battery turned to the right, into 
au open field, and, forming into battery, opened fire on the enemy's 
battery. The right section, which was in the rear of the column, 
after advancing a few rods further also turned to the right into the 
field and got into battery, the caissons kept on with the main column. 
While this was going on, Battery A, Fourth United States Artillery, 
had taken position further to the left and obtained a raking fire on 
the enemy's battery, which in a short time was silenced. Our in- 
fantry was advancing upon it, when it limbered up and withdrew. 
The battery casualties were two missing, James Bean and John T. 
Gardiner, both detached men ; whether wounded or taken prisoners by 
the enemy's cavalry was not then known. Later they were returned to 
the battery from the hospital. They had been picked up by the ambu- 
lance corps having fallen exhausted during the run in passing the ene- 
my's battery. Several horses were slightly wounded by flying 
fragments of shell. On the sixth caisson one was killed and two 
wounded causing us to halt in the road. The fifth caisson in turn- 
ing out to pass the sixth was upset, turning completely bottom side 
up, caused by the narrow road and the ditch beside" it, the stock and 
pole were broken rendering it useless, consequently it was destroyed. 

After the enemy's battery was silenced Battery B limbered up and 
repaired damages as best the time and circumstances would permit ; 
changing the wounded horses for those of the lost caisson, we were 
soon in readiness and resumed the march until late in the evening. 

It chanced that, on the morning of the 25th of June, as the Second 
Corps was moving from Thoroughfare Gap to resume the march 
north, the Confederate cavalry, under General Stuart, was passing 
through New Baltimore, toward Gainesville, upon that raid which 
was destined to cause General Lee the loss of nearly his whole cav- 
alay force. At the little town of Haymarket, where General Han- 
cock's line of march turned to the north, Stuart opened fire, with a 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 195 

battery, upon the rear division, wounding several men, also killing 
and wounding many horses. Still further annoyance was caused by 
this unexpected appearance of the enemy's cavalry. General Zook's 
brigade of the First Division, which was at Gainesville, was tempo- 
rarily cut off from communication with the rest of the corps, and 
several aides, passing between General* Hancock and Zook, were 
captured, thus causing some delay. The enemy's cavalry, however, 
were soon dispersed and the corps resumed its march. The bat- 
tery continued to move until ten p. M., when it reached Gum 
Springs, in the midst of a drenching rain, and, halting in an open 
field, bivouacked for the night. We had marched nineteen miles to 
overtake the corps, which got some distance in advance on account of 
the delay to the rear guard at Haymarket. 

On the morning of the 20th, reveille was not sounded until after 
five a, M. Warm and showery. After breakfast, "a pot of hot 
coffee, fried or broiled pork and hard-tack," there was an inspection 
of the battery and it was found that our loss, on the day before, was 
two men missing, James Bean, of the Nineteenth Maine, and John 
T. Gardiner, of the One Hundred and Fortieth Pennsylvania, and 
three men slightly wounded. Two horses were killed and six 
wounded, two being unfit for further use in the battery, and one cais- 
son was destroyed so as to render it useless to the enemy. All the 
equipments were saved and placed in the battery wagon for future use. 

At ten a. M. the battery left Gum Springs, and, resuming the 
march, arrived in the vicinity of the Potomac River ; at four p. M. 
halted. Here the men improved the opportunity by making coffee. 
At seven p. M. we again started on the march, but it was eleven o'clock 
before we reached the river, on account of the road being blocked by 
the wagon trains. We finally crossed on a pontoon bridge to Ed- 
ward's Ferry, and going a short distance halted. It was two o'clock 
in the morning before we bivouacked, but the men, rolling themselves 
up in their blankets, were soon asleep. 

No reveille was sounded on the morning of the 27th, we were given 
a chance to sleep and rest. At ten a. m. the following order was 

read : 

U. S. Mil. Telegraph Office, 

From Washington D. C, 

June 25, 1S63. 
General Hooker: 

The President has assigned General Hancock to the command of the 
Second Array Corps. 

(Signed,) E. D. TOWNSEND, A. A. G. 



196 HISTORY OF BATTERY B. [June, 

At his own request General Couch had beeu relieved from com- 
mand in the Army of the Potomac, having gone to Washington, on 
the 10th of June, for that purpose. A few days later, in recogni- 
tion of his distinguished service, he was assigned to the command of 
the new Department of the Susquehanna, which was formed to resist 
the threatening invasion of Pennsylvania, the troops being at Har- 
risburg and Columbia. Penn. 

It was noon before the battery was ordered to hitch up, and. after 
breaking camp, resumed the march. After leaving Edward's Ferry 
Ave passed through a country which was familiar to most of the men 
in the battery. Arriviug at Poolesville we passed through a part of 
the village to the road leading to Barnesville. and at seven p. m. 
halted and bivouacked. Sixteen months had made but few changes 
in the features of the spot, or of its surroundings. The old field?, 
the scenes of many thorough drills, the adjacent hills and those near 
the river (the Potomac), from whose summit skillful gunnery was oc- 
casionally displayed, the prostrated forest, exposing an uninterrupted 
view of the " Sugar Loaf" lifting its head to the skies in the wild 
pomp of mountain majesty, all remained essentially as they appeared 
when we first pitched our tents in Secessia. Though memory re- 
called amusing episodes in camp life spent there, the roll call casts a 
shadow upon mirthful thoughts by reminding us that some who 
marched with us from this camping ground in the spring of '6'2 
were still in death, a noble sacrifice to their country's cause. 

On the 28th. reveille was souuded at sunrise, it was pleasant and 
warm. After hasty preparations the battery was ordered to hitch 
up and resume the forward march at seven a. m. We passed 
through Barnesville and Urbana, small but flourishing towns in pro- 
ducing " com juice." About sunset the battery halted at the little 
hamlet of Monocacy Juuctiou and bivouacked. This is a thriving 
little town. From this place a branch road of the Baltimore and 
Ohio Railroad leads to Frederick ; the main road crosses the Mo- 
nocacy River at Point of Rocks. On our march up the Monocacy 
Valley we passed through a number of pleasant villages, indicating, 
in their appearance, a higher refinement than that we had beeu ac- 
customed to witness in Virginia. The country was diversified with 
hills and valleys, fertile fields and dense woods, imparting to the 
scenery a highly picturesque character. The people along the route 
appeared loyal, and hailed the presence of the Union army with 
marked evidences of satisfaction. 



- 
town .»i- 

rrom a rescued people tow< 
deliverers. 

1 it. 

I 
under comma-. . J >rrin. was 

e turnpike to guard the brid. 
-. iiet dar.' . 
Ear! of the i 3 rejoins 

bat: :k a. x.. we resumed the march 

ward pa- . .erty. "•" . 

small, but pleasant an- 1 .1 then through Jr 

vilk ne battery halted 

. .ree miles. It was a hard 

tedious march, and verv fa~ . long 

rnp. up hill a 1 . caused many men to drop 

kable that, daring the march, the 
i had moved upon a single road w;- artillery 

trai:.-. .-.own the rec- 7 the inha 

- were freely 
offered at the gates •-. while kind wor Is 1 cheer 

the weary soldiers, crowding onward to battle 
• 

hie morr. \ th, reveille wa- ided ui. 

> ae men extra time to rest from their march of the 
prev! When reveille Bounded, however, the camp com- 

mer. signs f life; the men were up and at: :he 

daiies of the d » roll call the following was read : 

HXAXHjCABT . - JTD AEMT 

major-general commanding the corps thanks the troops under his 
command for the great exertion they have made this day in achieving a 
march of full thirty-three m. 

-:e labor would have only been exacted of them from urgent 
-^ity. 
It was required by the 31 mmanding the Army, who has 



198 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [June, 

expressed his appreciation of the manner in which the duty has been 
performed. 

(Signed,) 

By order of Major-General HANCOCK, 

W. G. Mitchell, 
A. D. C, A. A. A. G. 

The rumor which had been circulated about camp and on the line 
of march, to the effect that the army was to have another com- 
mander, was fully vindicated by the following order, which was also 
read : 

Headquarters Army' of the Potomac, 
Frederick, Md., June 28, 1863. 
General Orders, { 
No. 05. \ 

In conformity with the orders of the War Department, dated June 27, 
1863, I relinquish the command ,of the Army of the Potomac. It is 
transferred to Maj.-Gen. George G. Meade, a brave and accomplished 
officer, who has nobly earned the confidence and esteem of the army, on 
many a well-fought field. Impressed with the belief that my usefulness 
as the commander of the Army of the Potomac is impaired, I part from 
it, yet not without the deepest emotion. The soxtow of parting with 
the comrades of so many battles is relieved by the conviction that the 
courage and devotion of this army will never cease or fail ; that it will 
yield to my successor, as it has to me, a willing and hearty support. 
With the earnest prayer that the triumph of its arms may bring suc- 
cesses worthy of it and the nation, I bid it farewell. 
(Signed), 

JOSEPH HOOKER, Major-General 
[Official.] 

S. Williams, Assis't Adft General. 

Headquarters Artillery Brigade, Second Army Corps, 

Untontown, Md., June 30, 1863. 

[Official.] G. L. Dwight, 

First Lieut. First R. I. Lt. ArVy, Adjt of Art. Brig. 

General Meade, on taking command of the Army of the Potomac, 
issued the following order : 

Headquarters Army of the Potomac, 

June 28, 1863. 
General Orders, \ 
No. 06. ( 

By direction of the President of the United States, I here assume com- 
mand of the Army of the Potomac. As a soldier, in obeying this order, 
an order totally unexpected and unsolicited, I have no promises or 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 199 

pledges to make. The country looks to this array to relieve it from de- 
vastation and disgrace of a hostile invasion. Whatever fatigues and 
sacrifices we may be called upon to undergo, let us have in view con- 
stantly the magnitude of the interests involved, and let each man deter- 
mine to do his duty, leaving to an all-controlling Providence the decision 
of the contest. It is with just diffidence, that I relieve, in the command 
of this army, an eminent and accomplished soldier, whose name must 
ever appear conspicuous in the history of its achievements; but I trust 
that the generous support of my companions-in-arms will assist me effi- 
caciously in the discharge of the duties of the great responsibility 
which has been placed upon me. 

(Signed), GEORGE G. MEADE, 

Maj. Gen. ConuVg. 
[Official.] 
S. Williams, Ass't Adft-Gen. 

It was a serious matter to change the commander of an army on 
the eve of battle, or, as President Lincoln expressed it, to " swap 
horses while swimming a stream." The Army of the Potomac, how- 
ever, was fortunate in the selection of its new commander ; he had 
served in it from the beginning, was thoroughly acquainted with its 
history and many of its officers, while the army had learned to know 
and trust him in return. 

While the battery remained at Uniontown Lieut. T. Fred. Brown 
ordered a battery inspection of guns, caissons, ammunition, and 
equipments ; and the gunners to see that the equipments were in 
their proper places. The drivers inspected the harness, and every- 
thing was found to be in excellent condition and ready for business. 

The battery, at this time, had two of its officers on detach ser- 
vice. Capt. John G. Hazard was chief of artillery of the Second 
Corps, and our Second Lieut. Joseph S. Milne was with Lieutenant 
Cushing's battery (A, Fourth United States). First Lieut. T. Fred. 
Brown was in command of the battery ; First Lieut. William S. Per- 
rin, of the right half; Second Lieut. Charles A. Brown, the left 
half; and First Sergt. John T. Blake was in charge of the caissons. 

On the morning of July 1st, reveille was sounded at sunrise, and, 
after the usual duties were performed, three days' rations of salt 
pork, hard-tack, sugar, and coffee were issued to each man to be car- 
ried in his haversack. At seven o'clock orders were given for the 
battery to pack and hitch up. At eight o'clock we left Uniontown, 
and, at noon, after passing through Taneytown, we halted for a 
couple of hours to make coffee. At two p. M. we resumed our march 



200 HISTORY. OF BATTERY B, [July? 

north on t lie Taneytown pike, tramping along until seven o'clock 
when we halted and bivouacked, beside the road, within three miles 
of Gettysburg. We heard that our cavalry, under General Buford, 
had met the enemy beyond the town of Gettysburg ; that the First 
Corps had gone to their support, and that General Reynolds was 
killed, by a rebel sharpshooter, while forming his line. There was 
some hard fighting, and, as the enemy outnumbered our troops 
they were forced to fall back to the town, and there form a line 
with those sent up to their support. 

At two o'clock on the morning of July 2d, the battery received 
marching orders, and the men on being suddenly aroused from 
slumber, tumbled out of their blankets, wondering if there was to 
be a night attack from the enemy. Soon everything was in readiness, 
all packed and hitched up, awaiting orders to move, but at sunrise we 
were still waiting while the infantry was moving forward. While 
waiting we improved the time, small fires were built and a pot of 
hot coffee soon made to refresh the inner man for the work that was 
before us. 

At five A. M. orders were received to move up to the front, and the 
battery was soon in motion on the Taneytown pike moving towards 
Gettysburg, which place we reached about ten o'clock, and were as- 
signed position on the left of the Second Corps' line, with General 
Harrow's Brigade (the first of the Second Division), on Cemetery 
Ridge, our left being joined by the Third Corps. Our pieces were 
placed in battery on slightly elevated ground, while the caissons were 
parked a few rods in our rear, in a hollow, the rolling nature of the 
ground making a slight protection for them. 

General .Sickles advanced the Third Corps to the front, about two 
o'clock p. M., thus making a gap, and leaving the Second Corps ex- 
posed on its extreme, left flank with only Battery B to fill the space. 
While the Third Corps was engaged, at Devil's Den and Peach 
Orchard, in a struggle with the rebels for possession of Little Round 
Top, the guns of Battery B, at four o'clock, were advanced to the 
right and front, a few hundred rods, to a ridge in front of the main 
battle line at General Gibbon's (Second Division of Second Corps) 
left front, known as the " Godori's field." On reaching the position 
Lieutenant Brown ordered us " in battery" at once, and we opened fire 
upon a rebel battery which had obtained a good range upon General 
Meade's headquarters. After a well directed fire, of a few moments, 
the rebel battery could hold out no longer and withdrew, our fire 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 201 

made it so hot for them that they did not even send us a parting 
salute. 

The following will explain Battery B's position more clearly : 
General Gibbon's line at this place, ran nearly parallel with the Em- 
mitsburg road ; we were on General Gibbon's left flank, on a slight 
ridge in Godori's field, between his line and the road at an angle of 
about 45°. The battery's left was nearest the road with the right 
extending back to within one hundred yards of the main line, at the 
stone wall, facing nearly northwest, our line of fire, therefore, was 
diagonally across the Emmitsburg road toward and to the left of the 
Lutheran Theological Seminary. The battery had been thrown 
forward toward the Godori house, by orders from General Gibbon, 
in order to get it out of the way for a time while he was trying to 
cover his left flank, which had become exposed by the abrupt 
advance of the Third Corps which caused a gap in the main line. 
The Fifteenth Massachusetts and the Eighty-second New York 
regiments lay along the road beside the fences. 

Shortly after we had ceased firing on the rebel battery a large 
force of the enemy was seen coming out of the woods, on our left 
flank, moving to the road in the direction of the gap. At first we 
mistook them for our own men, supposing that the Third Corps was 
falling back to its old position ; but when we commenced to receive 
their fire and heard that well known " rebel yell," as they charged 
for our battery, we were in doubt no longer, but sprang to the posts 
at the guns ready to receive them. This force of the enemy proved 
to be General Wright's brigade, of General Anderson's division, 
making for the gap between the Second and Third Corps. 

The enemy were in solid front of two lines of battle. As our 
artillery (ire cut down their men they would waver for a second, only to 
soon close up and continue their advance, with their battle flags flying 
in the breeze, and the barrels of their muskets reflecting the sun's 
dazzling rays. The violent forcing back of General Humphrey's 
division, of the Third Corps, brought destruction upon the force 
under Col. George H. Ward, consisting of his own regiment, the 
Fifteenth Massachusetts, the Eighty-second New York, Lieutenant- 
Colonel Huston, and Battery B under Lieut. T. Fred. Brown. As 
the enemy (Wright's brigade) advanced a desperate resistance was 
made by this little band, which was far overlapped on their flanks, 
and at last compelled to retreat. 

While the enemy were forcing General Humphrey's right toward 



202 HISTORYOF BATTERY B, [July, 

the line they first occupied, to the left of the first position occupied 
by Battery B in the morning, General Hancock came galloping up 
(going north) towards the right of his line, he saw a portion of the 
eDemy (Wilcox's brigade) coming out into the opening from a clump 
of bushes. He looked right and left for troops, and turning round 
saw a regiment coming up from the rear. Dashing up to the colonel, 
and pointing to the enemy's column, he exclaimed: " Do you see 
those colors? Take them!" And the gallant First Minnesota 
(Colonel Colville) sprang forward and precipitating themselves upon 
the advancing foe, lost three-fourths of their regiment in the impetu- 
ous onset. Thus was the gap partially closed, but on came the ad- 
vancing foe. 

Lieutenant Brown ordered the battery to change front left oblique 
and to then begin firing four second spherical case shell.* 

By the change of fronts, only the left and centre sections (four 
guns) of the battery could be brought to bear effectually on the ad- 
vancing enemy, while the right section shelled the woods. By their 
exposed position the battery received the concentrated fire of t lie 
enemy, which was advancing so rapidly that our fuses were cut at 
three, two, and one second, and then canister at point blank range, 
and, finally, double charges were used. Then came the order 
" Limber to the rear," and shouts from our infantry, " Get out of 
that, you will all be killed." From the battery men it was k4 Dou't 
give up the guns." 

During this time the enemy were advancing and firing by volleys. 
Having failed in their attempt to secure the gap, their objective point 
now seemed to be the capture of the battery, but, as we were well 
supported by the Sixty-ninth and One Hundred and Sixth Pennsyl- 
vania boys, we succeeded in retiring with four pieces leaving two on 
the field, the horses having been killed. 

In retiring the battery came under a heavy enfilading fire from the 
wing of the flanking foe, which had overlapped us, and many of our 
men and horses were wounded before we could retire behind our line 
of support, for only one piece at a time could go through the narrow 
gap in the stone wall which afforded breastworks for our infantry. 

The drivers of the sixth piece were forced to halt as they were ap- 
proaching the gap, it being partially blocked by two pieces, the 
third and fifth, trying to get through at the same time. As a conse- 

* These are shell filled with leaden or iron bullets and sulphur with powder enough to 
burst them. Ours contained seventy in number. 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 203 

quence one of the horses, on the sixth piece, was killed and another 
wounded causing such confusion that the drivers were forced to 
abandon their horses and the cannoneers their gun. The enemy 
were right upon them, and they sought safety by lying down, or 
making for the gap, from each side of which streamed a vivid name 
sending forth messengers of death to the foe. 

"When the order was given, by Lieutenant Brown, to limber to 
the rear, Sergt. Albert Straight waited and had his piece, the fourth 
which was loaded, fired before he repeated the order, and, in conse- 
quence two of his horses were shot and fell making it impossible to 
execute the order. He then ordered the men to look out for them- 
selves, leaving his gun in position on the field. In the diary of Ser- 
geant Straight, under date of July 2, 1863, is written: 

" We were ordered to limber to the rear when they (the rebs) had 
got very near to us, two of my horses got shot just as the order was 
given, and I could not get my piece off, and the boys had to look 
out for themselves, as the Johnnies were all around us, and the bul- 
lets flew very lively, with some shot and shell, all my horses were 
killed. David B. King was hit and lived but a few minutes, and one 
man was taken prisoner. I got my piece again after the charge was 
over." 

The other pieces, which reached the rear of our battle line, got in 
battery at once and opened fire again upon the advancing foe, but 
soon stopped to enable our infantry to charge them. Then came a 
struggle for the possession of those two guns. The gallant Sixty- 
ninth Pennsylvania, backed by the One Hundred aud Sixth, held 
their ground, and advancing, with the brigade on the charge, drove 
the foe back and held the guns. When the rebels were finally driven 
back across the Emmitsburg road, we withdrew our two pieces from 
the field to the third position occupied by the battery. After the 
charge the brigade fell back at the wall, its old position on the ridge. 

Owing to the loss of men and horses the fifth and sixth pieces 
were sent to the rear, where the reserve artillery was parked, while 
the serviceable horses and men were put into the other four detach- 
ments making them complete. 

Our casualties of July 2d were one officer wounded, three men 
killed, seventeen wounded and one taken prisoner, viz. : First Lieut. 
T. Fred. Brown, commanding battery, wounded ; Corp. Henry H. 
Ballou, acting sergeant, mortally wounded ; died July 4th. Killed, 
privates Ira Bennett, of the Nineteenth Maine ; Michael Flynn, of 



204 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [July, 

the Fifteenth Massachusetts (both on detached service) ; and David 
B. King. The wounded were : First Sergt. John T. Blake, Sergt. 
Edwin A. Chase, Corp. Charles D. Worthington, Bugler Eben L. 
Crowningshield, and privates Mo wry L. Andrews, Russel Austin, 
James Baird, Dyer Cady, Michael Duffy, William Maxcy, George 
McGunnigle, Lewis Moulton, Charles H. Paine, Peleg Staples, 
Herbert Sanford, and Albert J. Whipple. Taken prisoner, Joseph 
Cassen. Making a total of 22. 

During the engagement our caissons, with a full compliment of 
men and horses, were parked in the rear of the reserve line of in- 
fantry of the corps, and remained undisturbed. It was owing to 
this circumstance that the battery was enabled to take part in the 
battle of July 3d with four guns fully equipped. Lieut. T. Fred. 
Brown was wounded while withdrawing the battery from the Godori 
field, and the command was turned over to First Lieut. William S. 
Perrin, by orders of Capt. John G. Hazard, chief of artillery of the 
Second Corps. 

The following incident, connected with the above engagement, is 
worthy of note. To men in line, on a battle-field, water was a 
precious article, and no exception in our case, while in position on 
Godori's field, waiting under the hot rays of the afternoon's sun. In 
the sixth gun detachment was a short, thickset "detached man" 
from the One Hundred and Fortieth Pennsylvania Regiment. Not 
a drop of cowardly blood flowed through his veins, he was good ma- 
tured, clever, and obliging, but so awkward and blundering that, 
many times, he was in the way and more of a hindrance than help. 
But this occasion was an exceptional one. The water in our can- 
teens was getting low, and there was little prospect of refilling them 
as we could not leave our posts. " Coplar, I will take the boys' 
canteens and go to the house beyant there, shure, there must be a 
well, and I'll fill them and be back in a jiffy." Thus spoke little 
Peter Shevlin to his corporal, John Delevan. Glancing at the house 
(Godori's) the corporal said, " Yes, there might be a well there, and 
the enemy beyond in the woods, and they might make it red-hot for 
you, and make you turn up your toes." " Divil a bit of it," said 
Peter, '•' for shure, our skirmishers are beyant the house, and as 
long as they stay I'll be safe. When they run, shure, I can run 
too." Corporal Delevan said, " Well, Peter, if you go, you will go 
at your own risk." However, Peter was willing to take the risk, 
and was soon loaded with a dozen or more canteens (each would 




Gettysburg, July 3, 1863. 









1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 205 

hold three pints when full) going off in the direction of the house 
" beyant." 

In the engagement of the battery, which soon followed, Peter 
with the canteens was forgotten. After the charge was over, and 
we were congratulating one another on our escape, a familiar voice 
was heard saying, "Ah, ah! boys, here's yer wather ! " For a 
moment the men seemed paralyzed. There stood Peter witli a grin 
on his face, and the canteens, filled with water, attached to his 
shoulders. 

The grimy cannoneers gathered about him in surprise, exclaimiug : 
" For God's sake, Peter, how did you escape not being gobbled up 
by the Johnnies?" Although our mouths were parched we listened 
to Peter's story. He said: " ^Yhen I came to the house beyant, I 
found a well and bucket, but the bucket was so big, and the muzzle 
of the canteens so small that it took a long while to fill them. I got 
them filled, after a bit, and got them on me shoulders, and had jest 
started to return, when pop ! pop ! I heard behind me. I looked 
and our skirmishers were firing and running, and the rebs were com- 
ing. I tried to run, but the canteens would trip me up. At first I 
thought I would fling them away, but no, I said to meself, I won't, 
for the boys wants the wather. Soon the rebs came up to me and 
one of them, a long lank divil, ran to me with his baynet and asked 
me, if I would surrender ; I told him, of course I would. I had no 
gun ; and said I, to him, ' see me condition, I can't fight.' Then 
said he, ' Get to the rear.' Then another one seed me, and came at 
me with his baynet asking if I would surrender. I told him to see 
me condition, I had no gun and could not fight ; and he told me to 
go to the rear. Four or five of these divils took me prisoner and 
asked me to surrender, and I told them all to see me condition. I 
had no gun, and could not fight. Then there came a big roar up at 
the battery. I looked and seed the battery had opened on them, and 
the shot came tearing up the ground, and the shells bursting among 
them from our guns. At this they left me and went for our battery. 
There was a big rock convenient to me so I went behiut it with the 
canteens and squat down, like a hen with her chickens, and stayed 
there while the fight was going on. Bye-and-bye the Johnnies came 
back in such a hurry, that divil a man of them stopped to ask me 
would I surrender. Then I got up and come in. So here is your 
wather, boys." As we raised those canteens to our parched lips, 
we drank to the health of little Peter. 



206 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [July, 

Night closed the scene. "White robed peace flung her mantle, for 
a brief interval, o'er the victor and the vanquished, the dying and 
the dead. Hushed was the fearful strife, and welcome sleep closed 
the eyelids of men weary and worn with battle. How many were 
sleeping their last sleep on this earth, dreaming of the loved ones at 
home, of their childhood days, or, perhaps, of the last sad parting. 
Morning came all too soon, and ere the golden orb had tinted the 
east with his splendor the call to arms was heard. Again we looked 
death calmly in the face while patiently awaiting the summons to 
battle. Stern duty lay before us, an enemy to conquer, a govern- 
ment to honor and uphold. 

The dawn of July 3d broke in splendor, but before the calm beauty 
of that magnificent landscape was revealed, by the first rays of the 
sun, the clamor of human strife broke forth ; it rose and swelled to 
fury, along the rocky slopes of Culp's Hill, on our right. The 
Twelfth Corps, returning from the left, had found their old position 
occupied by the rebels (Johnson's division), and only waited for day- 
light to advance and drive the intruders out. The contest was 
sharp, but the nature of the position did not permit of rapid and de- 
cisive work. Little by little the enemy was forced back (though 
reinforced by three brigades) until finally they were compelled to 
give up the ground and abandon the position to the Twelfth Corps. 

The position now occupied by the two armies had each their ad- 
vantages and disadvantages. On the Union side, General Meade's 
shorter, convex line gave him the important advantage of being able 
to transmit orders and transfer troops with great celerity ; on the 
Confederate side, the long range of hills afforded space for a greater 
number of batteries, than could be brought into action by the Union 
commander. Of this fact General Lee was preparing to take 
advantage, having in view a grand assault. Where? He had tried 
the right, also the left, and the next would naturally be the Union 
centre along Cemetery Ridge. 

The Union troops were more systematically arranged, in regard to 
the unity of army corps, than was possible on the two previous days. 
General Slocum with his Twelfth Corps and the First Division ; 
General Wadsworth, of the First Corps, held Culp's Hill ; General 
Howard witli his Eleventh Corps and the Second Division, General 
Robinson, of the First Corps, held Cemetery Hill ; General Han- 
cock with his Second Corps and the Third Division ; General Double- 
day, of the First Corps, held Cemetery Ridge ; then the Third Corps, 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 207 

under General Biniey, extended General Hancock's lines. The 
Fifth Corps, General Sykes, still extended the line to the summit of 
Round Top. The Sixth Corps, General Sedgwick, was held mainly 
in reserve. 

In his survey of the Union line, for his third assault, General Lee 
hit upon the ground occupied by the Second and Third Divisions of 
the Second Corps. It is desirable, therefore, to describe the nature 
of this position more explicitly. Between Cemetery Hill and Ceme- 
tery Ridge was a small strip of woods known as Ziegler's Grove, in 
which was posted Battery I, First United States, under Lieutenant 
Woodruff, holding the right of the Second Corps ; then came the 
Third Division, General Hays, on whose line was posted Battery A, 
First Rhode Island, Captain Arnold ; the Second Division, General 
Gibbon's, extended the line. First ou the right, connecting with 
Hays's Division, was the Second Brigade, General Webb, on his 
line was posted Battery A, Fourth United States, First Lieuten- 
ant Gushing ; next came the Third Brigade, Colonel Hall, on his 
line was posted Battery B, First Rhode Island, under the command 
of First Lieut. William S. Perrin ; next the First Brigade, General 
Harrow ; on his line was posted Battery B, First New York, Cap- 
tain Rorty. The line was continued by the Third Division, of the 
First Corps, General Doubleday ; then next to the First Division, 
General Caldwell, of the Second Corps. In front of General Hays's 
and part of General Gibbon's troops, of the Second Corps, was a low 
stone wall surmounted by a post and rail-fence. On General Hall's 
left, in front of General Harrow, instead of a wall was an ordinary 
rail-fence. The ground and troops thus described and posted will 
afford some idea of the scene previous to the engagement, which, 
however, was known only to the rebel commander. 

The four pieces of Battery B, on the morning of July 3d, were so 
posted that its two centre pieces were a little in advance of its right 
and left pieces, thus enabling them to bear upon and command a 
given point. The third piece, Sergt. A. B. Horton and Corp. Sam- 
uel J. Goldsmith, gunner, was on the right of the battery ; next to 
the left was the fourth piece, Sergt. A. Straight and Corp. J. M. 
Dye gunner ; then the second piece, Sergt. A. A. Williams and 
Corp. John F. Hanson gunner ; the first piece, Sergt. R. H. Gal- 
lup and Corp. Pardon S. Walker, was on the left of the battery. 
Several rods further to the left, on line with our battery, was 
Captain Rorty 's Battery B, First New York, in position, while 



208 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [July? 

several rods to our right, and a little further to the front, was Lieu- 
tenant Cushing's Battery A, Fourth United States. Of the infantry, 
the Fifty-ninth Pennsylvania regiment held position, in the main 
battle line, to the left of the gap at the stone wall, and the Sixty- 
ninth Pennsylvania regiment was in position at the right of the gap. 
These two regiments were in front of Battery's B's position. In 
reserve, several rods to the right and rear, lay the Forty-second 
New York and the Nineteenth Maine regiments ; while the Seventy- 
second Pennsylvania regiment was at the left and rear of the bat- 
tery. 

In the morning a desultory fire of artillery was kept up, during 
which the rebels succeeded in exploding one of our ammunition 
wagons and several of the limber chests along our line, in retalia- 
tion we performed the same service for them, which was acknowl- 
edged by both parties with continued shouts and cheers. As the 
forenoon wore on there came a lull, a stillness even unto death. A 
feeling of oppression weighed upon all hearts, the silence was omi- 
nous and portentous of coming evil. It was the calm which pre- 
cedes the storm. 

Early this morning, as we lay in line of battle waiting, word had 
been sent to the rear for rations, as most of the men were out, 
not being able to procure them the previous day on account of the 
engagement. It was past noon and still no rations. What was the 
trouble? What had befallen Bob Niles, the veteran driver of our ra- 
tion wagon ? We were watching for him, with almost a wolfs hun- 
ger. But as we looked anxiously across the plain, to our rear, we 
saw him coming with four head-strong mules, well in hand, on the 
full jump. 

Robert A. Niles, but to us better known as Bob Niles, whether in 
camp, on the march or on the battle-field, would try to overcome all 
obstacles to reach us, if sent for. He was one of the reckless artil- 
lerymen of Battery B, shrewd and quick to grasp the situation, sur- 
mounting all difficulties without complaint. Here he was, on this 
fearful field, mid shot and shell to feed us. But, he arrived too late, 
for we were suddenly called to our posts of duty by a quick flash and 
the report of the enemy's gun. It proved to be their signal gun 
followed by gun after gun along their line ; we could not leave our 
posts, so, amid a shower of shot and exploding shell, Bob was forced 
to return to the rear, and we to continue our fast. 

About one o'clock in the afternoon a cannon shot, from the ene- 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 209 

my's Washington Artillery, was fired on our right soon followed by 
another, thus breaking the silence brooding over the scorched battle- 
field. This signal was well understood, and the smoke from those 
guns had not dispersed before the whole rebel line was ablaze. 
From the throats of over one hundred cannon, which obeyed the sig- 
nal, burst forth a concerted roar rivaling the angriest thunder. Our 
cannoneers jumped to their places and the drivers to their horses 
waiting for the order to commence firing. 

It was ten or fifteen minutes before we received orders to fire. 
Then the shrieking shot and shell were sent upon their work of de- 
struction, proving it to be one of the most terrible artillery duels ever 
witnessed. Then came Pickett's grand charge to break the Union 
centre, sweep the Second Corps from their path, and on to Washing- 
ton. How Lee succeeded history tells. Through this ordeal Bat- 
tery B still sustained its well earned reputation of stability and re- 
sistance, and though suffering heavily in both men and horses, did 
not leave its position nor slacken fire until relieved by orders of 
chief of artillery of the corps Captain Hazard. 

During this fierce cannonade one of the guns of Battery B was 
struck by a rebel shell, which exploded killing two cannoneers who 
were in the act of loading. No. 1, William Jones, had stepped to 
his place in front, between the muzzle of the piece and wheel on the 
right side, and, having swabbed the gun, stood with sponge staff re- 
versed (which is also the rammer) waiting for the charge to be 
inserted by No. 2. Alfred G. Gardner, No. 2, had stepped to his 
place, between the muzzle of the piece and wheel on the left side, and, 
taking the ammunition from No. 5, was in the act of inserting the 
charge when a shell struck the face of the muzzle, left side of the 
bore, and exploded. No. 1 was killed instantly by a fragment of 
the shell, which cut the top of the left side of his head completely 
off. He fell with his head toward the enemy, while the sponge staff 
was thrown two or three yards beyond him. 

Alfred G. Gardner was struck in the left shoulder, almost tearing 
his arm off. He lived a few minutes, and died shouting : " Glory 
to God ! I am happy ! Hallelujah ! " His sergeant and friend 
bent over him to receive his dying message ; which was, to tell his 
wife that he died happy, and to send her his Bible. 

Sergt. Albert Straight, and the remaining cannoneers, tried to load 
the piece, but, in placing a charge in the muzzle of the gun, they found 
it impossible to ram it home. Again and again, with rammer and 



210 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [July, 

an axe, they endeavored to drive in the shot, but their efforts were 
futile, as the depression on the muzzle was too great, and the attempt 
had to be abandoned. As the piece cooled off the shot became 
firmly fixed in the bore of the gun. 

This piece was the so called " Gettysburg Gun " of Battery B, 
First Regiment Rhode Island Light Artillery.* 

Lieut. Charles A. Brown, who was then in command of the sec- 
tion of the third and fourth pieces, informed the writer that, when 
he saw the sergeant trying to drive the shot in with the rammer, 
he ordered one of the cannoneers to get the axe, from the limber, and 
use it. 

These letters, and others, received by the writer, proved that the 

[Extract from a letter by the sergeant of this piece, to his brother John, July ?, 1S63.] 

* " We arrived near Gettysburg, Perm., on the night of July 1st, and on the 2d, we had 
a fight. I had one man killed, David B. King, of my detachment, six horses killed and 
one wounded. 

" The rebels charged our battery, and we had to retire a short distance to the rear of 
our second line of infantry; our support in front gave way. But the rebels fared badly, 
for but few of them got back to tell the story; they were repulsed with so terrible a 
loss. I also had one man missing; probably he was taken prisoner, as the rebels were 
within a few paces of us when we left. Lieutenant Brown, commanding the battery, 
was badly wounded, also Sergeant Chase, and many others. But this was nothing to 
the next day's fight. The rebels collected all their artillery and opened a concentrated 
fire upon us. It was terrible beyond description; the air was full of shell hissing and 
bursting. They came so thick and fast, there was no dodging them. Three shot or shell, 
before they exploded, struck my piece, one of them killing my No. 1 and No. 2, tearing 
the head off of No. 1, William Jones, and the shoulder and arm off of No. 2, Alfred G. 
Gardner. He lived a few minutes, and died shouting, ' Glory to God! ' and saying he 
was happy. He requested me to send his Bible to his wife, and tell her he died happy. 
He was a pious man, and he and 1 have been tenting together on this march. 

" Your brother, 
[Signed,] Albert Straight." 



{Extract from letters, written July 3d, 1863, by the Gunner of the Fourth Piece, Corp. 
J. M. Dye, a detached man from the One Hundred and Fortieth Pennsylvania 
regiment.] 

" Billy Jones and old Mr. Gardner were killed, and my No. 3 wounded, and went to 
the rear; my No. 4 was played out and lay on the ground, I tried to get him up to thumb 
vent, while the sergeant and myself tried to load the gun. But he wouldn't budge, so I 
got a stone and tearing off a piece of my shirt laid it on the vent. I then went and held 
the shot in place, which the sergeant had placed in the gun, while he swung on the ram- 
mer. I had to hold the shot in on account of a dent in the muzzle, made by the rebs' 
shell which killed Jones and Gardner, and we could not get it in. Some one came with 
an axe, and as they were going to make a strike with it, a rebel shell struck the 
cheek and exploded knocking out a spoke; this raised the gun up on one wheel, but did 
not dismount it, but it settled back. This put a stop in trying to load it; the gun, in cool- 
ing, had clamped on to the shot, so that we could not get it out again, and the gun went 
to the rear with the shot in the muzzle." 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 211 

piece and carriage were struck three times, first the axle of the car- 
riage, then the piece on face of the muzzle, and lastly the cheek. The 
sergeant says his piece was struck three times before the shell ex- 
ploded. If these missiles had been solid shot they would have dis- 
mounted the piece, and there would have been no explosion. The 
writer distinctly remembers seeing the explosion when the two men 
were killed, but thought the piece had been fired until told that it 
was struck by a rebel shell. The shot, which was placed in the 
gun after the explosion, still remains firmly fixed in the bore, and is 
not a rebel shot as some have claimed it to be. Sergeant Straight 
finding that the piece could not be loaded, reported it disabled, and 
was ordered by Lieutenant Perrin to have it taken to the rear, to 
where our battery wagons were parked. 

About half-past two o'clock p. jr. Battery B's fire began to slacken 
from want of men and ammunition, and, at quarter of three p. m., 
a battery (Cowen's First New York Artillery) came up to the ridge 
on a trot, wheeled into battery, on the left and front of Battery B's 
position, and opened fire, with spherical case shell, on the enemy's 
line of infantry moving then from the woods toward the Emmitsburg 
road. Battery B had been ordered to cease firing, and, being re- 
lieved by Cowen's Battery, withdrew from the field by orders of 
Capt. John G. Hazard, chief of artillery of Second Corps. 

As the battery was limbering up and retiring, the enemy's line 
of battle could be seen advancing from the woods on Seminary 
Ridge, three-fourths of a mile away. A line of their skirmishers 
sprang forward into the open field, closely followed first by one line 
of battle, then by a second, and then by a third line. 

General Gibbon's division, which was to stand the brunt of the 
assault, looked with eager gaze upon their foe marching forward 
with easy swinging step, and along the Union line the men were 
heard to exclaim : " Here they come ! Here comes the Johnnies ! " 
Soon little puffs of smoke issued from the skirmish line, as it came 
dashing forward, firing in reply to our own skirmishers ; it never hesi- 
tated for an instant but drove our men before it or knocked them over, 
by a biting fire, as they rose up to run in. 

This was Pickett's advance, which carried a front of five hundred 
yards or more on that memorable charge of the Confederates 
against the Union centre. The repulse was one of the turning 
points against the Confederates, and helped to break the backbone 
of the Rebellion. 



212 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [July, 

As Battery B was leaving the line of battle, the field in rear of 
its position was being swept by the enemy's shot and bursting shell. 
The gun detachments and drivers, in order to avoid this field, went 
with three pieces to the right (as they were facing to the rear) diag- 
onally toward the Taneytown road. The other piece, of which the 
writer was lead driver at that time, instead of following the first 
three went to the left, down a cart-path, toward the same road. 

We had not proceeded far when a rebel shell exploded on our 
right, and a piece of it struck the wheel driver, Charles Gr. Sprague, 
on the forehead, cutting a gash from which the blood flowed copi- 
ously down his face, blinding him so that he could not manage his 
horses. He got off his horse, saying, " I cannot ride but will try 
to lead them." 

I asked the swing driver, Clark L. Woodmansee, to take the 
wheel horses and let his swing horses go alone. He did so, thus re- 
lieving Sprague. Then we started down the path again. The flash 
of the bursting shell, and the screeching of solid shot, which were 
flying thick and fast around us, caused the swing horses, now that 
they had no driver, to plunge frantically from one side to the other 
and then backward, entangling themselves in their traces and in- 
terfering greatly with our progress. Looking to my left I saw one of 
our cannoneers, a detached man from the One Hundred and Fortieth 
Pennsylvania Regiment, Joseph Bracked, lying beside a large boul- 
der rock. I called to him to come and drive the swing horses as we 
could not get along. He came, and, after clearing the horses from 
their traces, mounted. This somewhat calmed the horses, and we 
started for the road again. When within a few rods of the road, 
where the path descended, a shell at our right exploded, and a piece 
cut through the bowels of the off wheel horse, another piece struck 
the nigh swing horse, which Bracked was riding, on the gambrel 
joint breaking the off leg. Still another piece swept across the sad- 
dle of my off horse cutting the feed-bags loose, whereby 1 lost my 
cooking utensils and extra rations. Whipping up my horses I shouted 
to the other drivers, " Let's get into the road ! " We continued and 
finally swung around into the road, which was three feet lower than 
the field. Here the wheel horse dropped dead, and we could go no 
further. Having cleared the horses from the piece, we were about 
changing the harnesses, from the dead and wounded horses to the 
uninjured swing horse, when a shot struck the gun-wheel taking 
out a spoke, and^ then went screeching into the woods. This was 



I860.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 213 

followed by a shell exploding in the woods in our rear. The horses 
were frightened, and Woodmansee's ran down the road, he after 
him. Brackell, who had changed the saddles from his crippled 
horse to a sound one, now mounted and followed Woodmansee. The 
poor crippled horse, seeing his mate going off, hobbled on trying 
hard to keep up. Being thus left alone I could do nothing, so 
mounted and, leaving the piece where it was, went down the road 
hoping to find the battery. I found the road anything but pleasant 
to travel, for shot and shell were flying about quite lively. 

On reaching a barn, on the west side of the road, used as the 
headquarters of the Artillery Brigade of the Second Corps, and also 
as a hospital, I found belaud it several staff officers, aides, and some 
cavalry, and asked them for Battery B. They pointed down the road. 
Meeting Woodmansee we kept on together. We had not gone far 
before we heard a crash and report, and, on looking back, saw men 
and horses, which were back of the above mentioned barn, scattering 
in all directions. A shell had struck a corner of the barn and ex- 
ploded. Not far from the barn, in an opening among the woods on 
the east side of the Taneytown road, and about a mile from our posi- 
tion on the battle-field, we found Battery B parked and the men in 
bivouac, some already having the shelter tents up. I reported that 
one of our pieces was left up in the road near General Meade's 
headquarters. 

Late in the afternoon, after the firing had subsided and all was 
quiet along the lines, Lieutenant Perrin with a detail of men, the 
writer being one of the number, went back to the battle-field. Our 
troops had advanced from the position they occupied when the battery 
left, and the ground was strewn with torn haversacks, battered can- 
teens, broken wheels of gun carriages, and piles of knapsacks and 
blankets overturned, silently telling of the destruction which had vis- 
ited the place. , 

Our men, under Sergt. Albert Straight and Corp. Calvin L. Mac- 
omber, dug graves, near a clump of bushes at the left of the gap in 
the wall, and our dead, Alfred G. Gardner, William Jones, David 
B. King, Ira L. Bennett, and Michael Flynn,were buried, and a 
rough marker placed at the head of each dead comrade. 

The men gathered such accoutrements as belonged to the battery, 
and which had been left on the field when it withdrew. In return- 
ing to camp, by way of the cart-path, we reached the place 
where the third piece had been left. The dead horse lay beside the 



214 HISTOKY OF BATTERY B, [July, 

road, but the piece and harnesses were gone. We could get no in- 
formation from any one near by as to who carried it off, or in what 
direction it went. We knew it could not have fallen into the hands 
of the enemy, being within our own lines, therefore it was evident 
that some battery, ordnance or supply wagon had taken it to the rear, 
where all condemned ordnance was parked. As the number of the 
gun was unknown to the officers of the battery, it was not returned 
nor any information concerning it as far as the writer could learn. 

Battery B's casualties, on the 3d of July, were : Killed, Alfred 
G. Gardner and William Jones ; wounded, John Green, mortally 
(and died July lGth), John T. Boyle, Amos Broard, Bernard 
Doyle, Daniel L. Felt, Ezra L. Fowles, Jacob Frizee, John Gray, 
Joseph Hammond, Michael Kelly, George R. Matteson, Peter Phil- 
lips, Thomas W. Phillips, Charles G. Sprague, John D. Wishart ; 
missing and said to have deserted, William H. Gallup, and was so 
reported on the company rolls. The battery's loss, during the two 
days' engagement, was seven killed, thirty-one wounded, one taken 
prisoner on the field, and one deserted, making a total of forty men. 
Official records credit Battery B with only a total of thirty-two. 
Eighteen of the wounded were taken to the hospital from the field ; 
thirteen were cared for in the battery and attended the sick call daily, 
but seven were subsequently sent to the hospital, where one (Her- 
bert Sanford) died, and only two others returned to the battery for 
duty. There were twenty-nine horses killed and thirty-six wounded, 
seventeen of which were unfit for further service, making a loss of 
forty-six horses disabled in action. 

Our captain, John G. Hazard, chief of artillery of the Second 
Corps, had his horse shot under him during the fierce cannonading, 
and his adjutant, Lieut. G. Lyman Dwight, met the same casualty. 
Lieut. William S. Perrin's horse was disembowelled, soon after he 
had dismounted, at the commencement of the cannonading. 

The only Rhode Island officer killed at the battle of Gettysburg 
was Second Lieut. Joseph H. Milne, of Battery B, who was on de- 
tached service with Lieutenant Cushing's Battery A, Fourth United 
States Artillery. He was mortally wounded during Pickett's charge 
on the third, but is not credited to the battery's loss by reason of be- 
ing on detached service. 

July 4th. Cloudy and showery. The momentarily expected order 
to advance had not been given. The Union commander was evi- 
dently content with the victory won, and willing that the troops 




Lieut. Joseph S. Milne. 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 215 

should rest on their arms, bivouacked on the field. Toward morn- 
ing there arose a terrible storm, one of those instances which seems 
to establish a connection between a battle of nations and one of the ele- 
ments. In this instance, at any rate, the downfall was equal to the 
violence of the preceding cannonade. The troops were drenched, in 
an instant, by the sudden torrent which swept over hill and plain, as 
if to wash out the stains of the great battle. The fact, however, 
that the Army of the Potomac had at last won a great victory could 
not be obliterated, nor the fact that the backbone of the Confederacy 
was broken on the field of Gettysburg, from which time the south- 
ern cause went steadily backward. 

Fourth of July, the birthday of our National Independence. One 
year ago the Army of the Potomac, exhausted by the fatigue and 
excitement of its " Seven Days' " battles, was reposing at Har- 
rison's Landing on the James River. The brightness of the national 
anniversary was then shadowed by disappointment, in view of being 
withdrawn from the Peninsula, without gaining the prize almost 
within our grasp. This year, however, it was enlivened by brilliant 
deeds, and the victory long delayed. In a spirit becoming the event, 
General Meade issued the following order to the troops : 

Headquarters Army of the Potomac, 
Near Gettysburg, 

July 4, 1S63. 
General Orders, \ 
No. 63. J 

The commanding general, in behalf of the country, thanks the Army 
of the Potomac for the glorious result of the recent operations. Our 
enemy, superior in numbers, and flushed with pride of successful inva- 
sion, attempted to overcome or destroy this army. Baffled and defeated , 
he has now withdrawn from the contest. The privations and fatigue 
the army has endured, and the heroic courage and gallantry it displayed, 
will be matters of history to be ever remembered. 

Our task is not yet accomplished, and the commanding general looks 
to the army for greater efforts to drive from our soil every vestige of the 
presence of the invader. 

It is right and proper that we should, on suitable occasions, return our 
grateful thanks to the Almighty Disposer of events, that in the good- 
ness of His providence, He has thought fit to give victory to the cause 
of the just. 

By command of GEOEGE B. MEADE, 

Maj. Gen. Commanding. 
S. Williams, A. A. Gen. 



216 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [J"ly, 

During the forenoon the men were kept quite busy taking account 
of equipments on hand, and of those lost in action, or on the recent 
march. But that which gave the most satisfaction, and was most 
heartily received, was the appearance of Robert A. Niles with the 
ration wagon. The rations w r ere soon issued, and all were made 
happy by being well fed on salt pork, hard-tack and coffee. 

There was another interesting event during the forenoon, and that 
was the arrival of the drivers, Charles Fried, lead, and Levi J. 
Cornell, wheel, with the disabled fourth piece having the shot 
still in the muzzle. When they were ordered from the field to 
the rear with the gun, they went north toward the town instead 
of south, not knowing where the reserve artillery was encamped. 
Not finding the battery before night, they bivouacked in the woods, 
south of Culp's Hill on the east side of the Taneytown road, 
and in the morning again started to find the battery. When 
they came into camp they were asked: "Where did you come 
from?" and if they had been to Baltimore since the fight. The 
men gathered around the gun, and many questions were asked by 
those who had not witnessed the explosion. Upon examination the 
gun and gun carriage showed that they had been struck three times 
with shell. Thirty-nine bullet marks were also plainly visible, serv- 
ing to remind those who may chance to look upon it of the ordeal 
through which it passed during that fearful struggle. This gun 
(the fourth piece of Battery B, First Regiment Rhode Island Light 
Artillery, now called " the Gettysburg gun "), with other condemned 
ordnance, was sent to the Arsenal, at Washington, D. C, and 
placed on exhibition where it remained until May, 1874. 

About four o'clock in the afternoon, having received orders from 
artillery headquarters, the battery was hitched up, and the drivers, 
witli a detail of cannoneers, took the guns, caissons, battery wagon 
and forge, under command of Lieutenant Perrin, nearly to Gettys- 
burg, and parked where the ordnance department was encamped. 
The battery was condemned on account of its condition. Subse- 
quently our remaining serviceable horses (sixty-five) were turned 
over to Battery A, Rhode Island, to take the place of those it had 
lost. 

On returning to camp we passed along the ridge, in rear of our 
battle line, where so many brave defenders of the Union fell yester- 
day. The description of this carnage would be but a stronger repeti- 
tion of the ghastly scenes presetted at Malvern Hill and Fredericks- 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 217 

burg. The field after the battle exhibited all the terrible features 
of Antietam intensified. In no previous battle had the number of 
killed and wounded been so great. Over an area of miles lay, 
thickly strewn, the dead and wounded men, also horses, broken cais- 
sons, disabled attillery guns, muskets, haversacks, canteens, and other 
appurtenances of war. 

The destruction visible on Cemetery Hill, of shattered monuments 
and broken gravestones, silently told of the fierce struggle for its 
possession on the night of the 2d. Looking to the west, along and 
beyond Seminary Ridge, the Confederate army could be seen, still in 
position within easy cannon range. General Lee maintained a firm 
front, and stood at bay behind earthworks which, though hastily 
thrown up, were none the less formidable. 

Looking to the north the town of Gettysburg could be seen and 
the beautiful Cumberland Valley, " Pennsylvania's land of promise." 

Gettysburg, Pa., is situated at the head of a beautiful valley, 
lying between Catoctin and South Mountain, from which issues 
roads to nearly every point of the compass. Two streams pass near 
the town, the Rock Creek on the east, and Willoughby Run on the 
west ; the former, the most important of the two, runs nearly due 
south. Between these two streams run three ridges, almost due 
north and south and neaidy parallel to each other. One of these 
ridges, the shortest in length and lowest in altitude, forms the eastern 
border of Willoughby Run, where the battle commenced early on the 
morning of July 1st. The second ridge runs just through the west- 
ern outskirts of the town, and derives its name "Seminary Ridge " 
from the Lutheran Theological Seminary * situated thereon. On 
this ridge General Lee, with the Confederate army, had taken posi- 
tion with reference to the then coming battle. The third ridge, 
which was occupied by the Union forces, would, if prolonged north- 
ward, run through the eastern border of Gettysburg ; but, just before 
reaching the town, it bends sharply around and curves backward un- 
til it reaches the banks of Rock Creek upon the east. " The elevation 
of this ridge varies greatly throughout its course, which is briefly 
defined from south to north. At the south, about three miles from 
the town, is a sharp, rocky, and densely wooded peak known as 
Round Top. From this the ground slopes toward the north to again 
rise in a similar peak, though not so high, known as Little Round 

* The observatory of this college General Lee occupied during the battle as a place of 
observation. 



218 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [Jllty? 

Top. At the foot of this, and to the west, is a rocky gorge called 
" Devil's Den." From here the ground declines toward the north 
to a small plain which rises again to a ridge known as " Cemetery 
Ridge," the ground then continues to ascend, as Gettysburg is ap- 
proached, when it curves around and is bent backward, forming an 
uncommonly strong defensive position. At this curve the ridge is 
known as Cemetery Hill, because of the village cemetery there en- 
closed. Ths ridge still continues to curve around to the southeast, 
falling off sharply, for a little distance, to again rise into a rocky, 
woody eminence known as Culp's Hill, having an abrupt eastward 
face, along the foot of which flows Rock Creek. The highways 
which traverse the surrounding country and enter the village of 
Gettysburg, are : The Baltimore turnpike crosses Rock Creek and 
enters the town from the southeast ; the Hanover road, from the 
east, and the York pike, from the northeast, both enter the town at 
the same point. The Harrisburg road, from east of north, and the 
Mummasbnrg road, from west of north, both enter the town by 
the Carlisle road. Chambersburg road enters from the northwest, 
and Fairfield road from the west (General Lee's line of retreat). 
The Emmitsburg road, from the southwest, crossing the south 
road, intersects and enters the town with the Baltimore pike. The 
Taney town road comes directly from the south, and enters the town, 
after crossing the Emmitsburg road, at the foot of Cemetery Ridge. 
By the Taneytown road the greater part of the Union army arrived 
on the field of battle. There was nothing in the place, nor in the 
surrounding country of Gettysburg, to invite the presence of war. 
Its seat of learning, its school of the prophets, its beautiful ceme- 
tery, and the calm of its rural scenery, all suggested quiet and 
peaceful pursuits. As has already been stated, it was not, appar- 
ently, General Lee's original intention to deliver battle here, but the 
engagement was forced upon him by his inability to proceed directly 
to Harrisburg. 

The preliminary manoeuvres, in the morning, on both sides having 
been made, the battle was opened on the 1st of July, by General 
Reynolds, continuing throughout the day. It was severely fought 
and terminated, with a heavy loss on both sides. General Reynolds, 
while examining the field for an advantageous disposition of his 
men, was mortally wounded and soon expired; in consequence the 
command of the troops devolved upon General Howard. By orders 
from General Meade, General Howard was superseded in command 
by General Hancock. 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 219 

Early on the morning of the 2d, the battle line was continued to 
the vicinity of Little Round Top, and by additional troops soon ex- 
tended nearly three miles to Culp's Hill. On the arrival of General 
Meade the headquarters of the army were established at a small 
house on the west side of the Taneytown road directly in the rear 
of this centre. It was a dangerous but convenient spot for observ- 
ing operations, and sending orders to the right or left. 

The battles of the first and second day determined nothing. If, 
the first day, the Unionists gained anything, they lost equally as 
much. The second day's fight was more death-dealing than the 
first, for the rebels hurled a heavy force against our left, only to be 
beaten back with immense slaughter. The centre was similarly as- 
sailed, but with no better success. A like experiment was tried on 
the right, and, after a short, doubtful state of things, was repulsed 
with heavy loss. The battle continued until half-past eight o'clock 
in the evening, terminating with a bad record for the rebels. 

Friday, July 3d, was the great battle day, and developed the full 
power and skill of the opposing armies. Which, now, was to be 
master of the situation — the Union or. Confederate army — Meade 
or Lee? A few hours would and did decide. The stake with Gen- 
eral Lee was the Confederacy — with General Meade, the salvation 
of Pennsylvania, and the preservation of Baltimore and Washington. 
No wonder that both commanders braced themselves, like mighty 
giants, for the struggle of the day. And when they met — what a 
concussion ! Language is feeble to describe it. The charge and the 
repulse ; the rally and the charge repeated ; the surging of heavy 
rebel columns against the impenetrable walls of Union artillery and 
infantry ; the rush of cavalry, and the shouts of the moving masses ; 
formed a succession of pictures intensely exciting. 

The Confederate army struggled as if hanging between life and 
death. The generals fought their men with that fierce recklessness 
displayed at Malvern Hill one year ago. But victory now as then 
refused them her laurels, and, abandoning all hope, their wagon 
trains were put in motion, toward the Potomac River, while the bat- 
tle continued, in order to gain time for their safe departure. Just as 
General Lee had stood at bay behind Antietam Creek, all through 
the 18th of September, 1862, that he might make his retreat orderly 
and save his trains, so, now on the 4th of July, 1863, he maintained a 
firm front, upon Seminary Ridge, though withdrawing his left wing 
which had menaced Culp's and Cemetery Hills. 



220 HISTORY- OF BATTERY B, [July, 



CHAPTER XVII 



FROM GETTYSBURG TO THE RAPPAHANNOCK— 
BATTERY B REORGANIZED. 

JULY" 4th was again freshly consecrated by a Union victory at 
Vicksburg, as well as at Gettysburg. The recent battle-field 
was still red with the blood of noble heroes slain for their 
country's cause. 

The work of interring nine thousand dead, and of removing about 
twenty thousand wounded to comfortable quarters, was a herculean 
task. The Confederates had left a large number of their badly 
wounded lying on the field, and most of their dead remained unburied. 
It was necessary to make interments everywhere, and often ten to fifty 
bodies were buried in one trench. It was only after the rebel pris- 
oners had been pressed into this work, especially in covering up the 
bodies of their fallen comrades, that the sad duty was finally com- 
pleted. 

This battle so murderous in effect was particularly disastrous for 
those commanding officers, on both sides, who had most gallantly 
exposed themselves while leading their troops to combat. The 
Confederates were : Major-Generals Heth, Hood and Trimble 
wounded, and Pender mortally ; Brigadier-Generals Armistead, 
Barksdale and Garnett killed, and Semmes mortally wounded ; Briga- 
dier-Generals Anderson, Hampton, Jones, Kemper, Pettigrew and 
Scales were wounded, while Archer was taken prisoner. The Army 
of the Potomac had lost Major-General Reynolds, and Brigadier- 
Generals Vincent, Weed and Zook ; Major-Generals Butterfield, 
Barlow, Doubleday, Hancock, Gibbon, Sickles and Warren, and 
Brigadier-Generals Brooks, Barnes, Graham, Paul and Stone were 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 221 

wounded. The triumph of the victors had been costly, for " mid 
the thundering of artillery and the shouting of infantry" was heard 
the wail of the dying thousands. 

On the 5th, Lieutenant Perrin received orders to report to Battery 
A with his command, and at noon the men of Battery B, with their 
blankets and tents packed and slung upon their shoulders, tramped 
over to the camp of the former, and were assigned to the left section, 
with First Lieut. William S. Perrin in command of the section. 
The batteries (A and B of Rhode Island) having lost heavily, were, 
by orders of the chief of artillery of the corps (Capt. John G. Haz- 
ard) , temporarily consolidated and known as Battery A, First Regi- 
ment Rhode Island Light Artillery, Captain Arnold commanding. 
Remaining together they followed the Confederate army back into 
Virginia to the Rapidan. 

The writer, however, will continue to speak of the left section as 
Battery B. Our reports were made out, and sent to artillery brig- 
ade quarters separately, and signed by Lieutenant Perrin as com- 
mander. 

At five o'clock in the afternoon the battery was ordered to pack and 
hitch up, and left camp moving down to Two Taverns, a small ham- 
let on the Baltimore pike about two miles south of Gettysburg, where 
we went into camp. 

The 6th was cloudy with showers. A detail of twenty men of 
Battery B (some with horses), under command of Lieut. A. Brown, 
were ordered and went to draw the condemned pieces of Battery A, 
Fourth United States Artillery, up to Gettysburg where the con- 
demned ordnance was parked. When we arrived, at the battery's 
camp, our services were not required, as mule teams from the ord- 
nance train had performed the task, and Ave returned to our camp. 
The battery, meanwhile, had received orders to prepare for a move. 

On the 7th it was still cloudy with light showers. Reveille at 
sunrise. After breakfast (hot coffee, hard-tack and pork) the bat- 
tery was ordered, by Captain Arnold, to pack and hitch up ; about 
eight .A. >L it left Two Taverns, and, going in a southerly direction, 
halted at Taneytown and encamped for the night. Just before going 
into camp we passed a grove wherein were collected from eight hun- 
dred to one thousand rebel prisoners, who had been taken in the 
morning, at the front, and sent to the rear under guard. The Sec- 
ond Corps, on account of its heavy loss in the engagement of July 
3d, was the rear guard to the army in this movement. The Fifth 



222 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [July, 

and Sixth Corps were in advance, with cavalry on their flanks. 
Thus the Union army was following up that of General Lee, which 
had fallen back to the Potomac River. 

July 8th. Reveille at five a. m. Nearly all were up long before 
it was sounded, trying to light fires ; some met with poor success, 
while others succeeded by holding up a rubber blanket for their com- 
rades to start a fire under. The difficulty arose from the fact that 
it rained very hard, and the fires were put out as fast as they were 
started; however, tk where there's a will there's a way," and it must 
be a second flood to cheat an old veteran out of his hot coffee for 
breakfast, providing he is allowed sufficient time. It rained quite 
hard until about ten a. m., when it cleared off* warm and pleasant, 
inspiring the men with renewed activity and animation. Blankets 
and other clothing, which had become drenched, were spread to 
catch the warm rays of the sun and gentle southern breeze. Just 
before noon the order was given, and the clothing, blankets, tents, 
and other equipments were soon packed, the battery was hitched up 
and resumed its march. 

We left Taneytown about twelve o'clock, and, after passing 
through several small but thriving villages, crossed Big and Small 
Pipe Creeks, continuing on through Woodboro to within a few miles 
of Frederick, at which place we halted and camped for the night. 
The Monocacy Valley, through which the corps had passed, was one 
of the vintage grounds of Maryland ; the picturesque villages, fertile 
fields, sturdy farmers, portly women, and buxom maidens, all beto- 
kened prosperity, good living and happiness. 

The 9th was pleasant and warm. At the close of the morning's 
routine of duty, the camp was thrown into joyous excitement by the 
cry of " Letters, letters ! " It was a " red letter day" for Battery 
B. The welcome post courier, Charles H. Adams, brought a gen- 
erous mail, which had accumulated at Washington while awaiting 
convenient transportation to its destination. The mails were looked 
for with eager interest. Nothing tended so strongly to keep up the 
spirits of the men, as the privilege of frequent correspondence with 
cherished friends at home. The eagerness with which seals were 
broken and contents devoured, can only be imagined by one who has 
long been separated from loved ones at home. These letters, filled 
with local gossip and words of cheer, from loving mothers, sisters, 
and sweethearts, were " like glow-worms amid buds of flowers," 
casting a pleasant light upon the beautiful treasures of memory, and 
inspiring courage that nerves the arm for deadly strife. 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 223 

At ten o'clock a. m. boots and saddles call was sounded. The 
battery was soon on the march again, and, leaving camp, passed 
through Frederick and over the Catoctin Mountains to Jefferson sit- 
uated on the western slope. Passing through the town we turned 
north and crossed the Catoctin Creek going to Burkittsville, where 
we halted for about an hour to let the troops get ahead. Again 
resuming the march, we went over the South Mountain range of the 
Blue Ridge Mountains, by way of Crompton's Gap, and passed over 
part of the battle-field of Sept. 14, 1862. The engagement fought 
here was between the Sixth Corps, under General Franklin, 
and the Confederates, under General Anderson, two days before the 
battle of Antietam, Lee's first invasion of northern soil. The bat- 
tery encamped near Rohrersville for the night. 

On the 10th, reveille sounded at four a. m., and, after hasty 
preparations, the corps was again on the move. The battery, how- 
ever, did not leave camp until eight o'clock, when it pulled out into 
line resuming the onward march. We passed through the village of 
Rohrersville, to the small hamlet of Buena Vista, and then to famil- 
iar ground, over which the battery had previously passed, in Septem- 
ber, 1862, to Keedysville. Still moving north, we crossed the 
creek and battle-field of Antietam, and went into camp near the vil- 
lage of Tighlmantovvn. In this section of the country the villages are 
adorned with some quaint and odd names, such as Rohrersville, Kee- 
dysville, Buena Vista, Tighlmanton, and Funkstown. The ety- 
mology of these rather uneuphonic names rests in obscurity. For 
aught that appears to the contrary, it may have been the hunting 
ground of the original Peter, whose numerous progeny have obtained 
an unenviable notoriety. However this may be, the last named is 
one of the principal villages, washed by the Antietam Creek, and 
boasts a population of seven or eight hundred, while many of the 
other villages do not exceed a hundred inhabitants. 

The 11th was pleasant and warm, a most glorious day. The Con- 
federate army was still at bay on the banks of the Potomac at 
Williamsport. The swollen river prevented Lee's army crossing, 
hence there were strong indications that a battle would occur in this 
vicinity. At nine a. m. the battery advanced a short distance to the 
front and halted, the corps going into position in line of battle on 
the left of the Fifth Corps. 

This place where the roads cross was called Lapham's Corner, 
said to be about six miles from Sharpsburg, Boonsborough, and Ha- 



224 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [Jutyr 

gerstown, and about five miles from Williamsport. Some sharp 
skirmishing was heard upon the right, and the battery was placed in 
position in rear of the First Division. Here the men bivouacked 
for the night, and, as it was ordered that no large fires be made for 
fear of attracting the attention of the enemy, small squads of men 
could be seen hovering around a smouldering fire of twigs, preparing 
their supper of coffee, toasted pork, and fried hard-tack. 

On the morning of the 12th no reveille was sounded, as we were 
too near the enemy, but the men were up betimes, and busy prepar- 
ing something hot for the inner man, hoping to sustain both body 
and spirits for the work before them. All was quiet along the lines 
in our front. In the afternoon the battery advanced (changing its 
position twice) and placed the pieces in position in battery with the 
First Division. The caissons and wagons were parked about a 
quarter of a mile to the rear of our position. Here the battery biv- 
ouacked all night. 

July 13th. Last evening there was a very heavy shower, and this 
morning it still continued to rain by spells, making it anything but com- 
fortable for both man and beast ; such, however, was a soldier's life, 
and the old veterans had become hardened to hardships of the march, 
battle, and camp life. In the afternoon the pieces were advanced to 
a small line of breastworks, in their front, which had been thrown 
up by the infantry during the night. At five p. m. we were advanced 
still further to the front to a second line of breastworks. On taking 
position the battery prepared for action. The enemy could plainly 
be seen actively throwing up breastworks, and squads of men mov- 
ing about indicated that they were preparing either for action or a 
retreat. 

Darkness fell while the troops were momentarily expecting the 
order to advance, and the men bivouacked on the field, under arms, 
ready for action at a moment's notice. Our Second Lieutenant, 
Charles A. Brown, went to Battery I, First United States Artillery, 
on detached service. 

On the 14th the troops were aroused at daybreak, and a reconnois- 
sance in force being made, from the front of each corps, it was dis- 
covered that the enemy had retreated during the night and escaped 
across the river into Virginia. About six o'clock a. m. Captain 
Arnold received orders to withdraw from the breastworks, and, going 
to the rear where the caissons were in park, we prepared for light 
marching. The grain and surplus equipments were taken from the 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 225 

gun limbers the caissons were unlimbered, the pieces and the cais- 
son limbers, by a roundabout way, advanced to the right and gained 
a high hill, taking position overlooking the enemy's works without 
opposition, as there were no enemy there to dispute our advance. 
Limbering up the battery again advanced to within a mile of Wil- 
liamsport, when, turning to the left, it moved down the road toward 
Falling AVaters, passing two abandoned rebel caissons, also played 
out horses, broken harnesses, muskets, and ammunition strewn along 
the road, all indicating a hasty retreat. Our cavalry, which was in 
advance of the battery and infantry, coming upon the rear guard of 
the enemy, found it with stacked arms indicative of surrender, but 
seeing only a small squad of cavalry advancing, the rebels jumped 
for their guns, and fired a volley into the advancing cavalry, killing 
and wounding about forty. The battery immediately went into po- 
sition, and fired a few shell at the enemy who had retreated into 
the woods. Our cavalry, having been reenforced by another squad, 
charged, and, being well supported by our infantry, captured about 
six hundred prisoners. The number of Confederates killed and 
wounded was not known, but it must have been great, as the cavalry 
showed the enemy no mercy after the cowardly ruse they had played. 
The battery remained here all night, bivouacked in line of battle. 

On the morning of the 15th, the battery was aroused at daybreak, 
and, after a dry wash, and a hasty breakfast of hard-tack and coffee, 
returned to where the caissons and the rest of the battery had been 
left encamped. We reached our destination about ten a. m., weary 
and exhausted from the tramp through the mud. Though the roads 
were in a very bad condition there was no time for rest, and, there- 
fore, as soon as the caissons were limbered up, battery packed, and 
horses cared for, as well as circumstances would permit, we hitched 
up again, about one o'clock p. M.,and resumed the march. Leav- 
ing Lapham's Corner we passed through Tighlmanton, and over 
part of the battle-field of Antietam, to Sharpsburg. The latter 
town still showed visible signs of the struggle enacted here on the 
17th of September, 1862. Passing through the town, we crossed 
Antietam Creek, at the Old Iron Works, and moved up into the 
mountains, and at dark halted on the northern part of Maryland 
Heights, and we went into camp near the Twelfth Corps. 

On the 16th, at six o'clock a. m., the battery was again in motion. 
Passing down through Sandy Hook and on to the hills at the north- 
east we went into camp near Weverton, a pictnresque village in 

15 



22G HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [July, 

Pleasant Valley, situated on the southwest slope of South Mountain, 
about three miles north of the Potomac River. Here the men pitched 
their tents with some prospect of a rest, which, although short, was 
most welcome to the men after their hard and tedious tramp through 
the mud, up hill and down. 

When the Union army commenced the pursuit of General Lee, it 
was generally believed that he would be compelled to give battle at 
Hagerstown or Williamsport, and that nothing would be more grati- 
fying to the Army of the Potomac than to finish the work begun at 
Gettysburg. These opinions may have been entertained by those at 
a safe distance from the smell of gunpowder, or, possibly, by those 
troops not engaged, but not by the soldiers confronting General 
Lee's army, as he stood at bay around Williamsport on the morning 
of July 14th; they were greatly relieved to find the enemy gone. 
Why? Not for lack of courage, but because of the fearful strain 
they had undergone since the beginning of this campaign, their 
forced marches to reach and protect their national capital, the three 
days' continuous fighting, and the final forced circuitous tramp 
through a mountainous country in pursuit of the retreating foe. 
And, I repeat, the men were thankful for a respite from the long 
strain and menace of " Lee's Northern Invasion." The latter was 
safely back in Virginia, with only two-thirds of his army, many 
rebel prisoners having been left in the hands of the victors. Hence- 
forward any future moves against the Confederate army must consti- 
tute a new campaign. 

July 17th. Reveille at five A. m. Only regular camp duty was 
performed. It being a rainy day the men remained under cover of 
their tents. By orders Lieutenant Perrin sen? to general headquar- 
ters a requisition for new pieces for Battery B. It cleared off in the 
afternoon, and the sun's bright rays seemed to reanimate the weary 
troops. At retreat roll call the following resolutions were read : 

STATE OF RHODE ISLAND AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 

Resolution in Regard to the Volunteer Soldiers of the State 
of Rhode Island. 

Resolved, That the General Assembly hereby declares its high ap- 
preciation of the distinguished service of the volunteer soldier, of the 
State of Rhode Island, on numerous fields of perilous duty, in bravely 
maintaining her honor, enhancing her reputation, and illustrating her 
history anew by their courage, loyalty, patriotism, and valor. 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 227 

The General Assembly proudly and gratefully recognizes their claims 
to the approval and regard of their fellow citizens, and renewedly pledge 
to them its cordial good will and unfaltering support. 

Resolved, That the General Assembly tenders expression of sympa- 
thy to the many hearts and homes that have been bereaved and sad- 
dened by the casualties of the present conflict, and assures them that the 
State will ever cherish the memory of the brave men who have fallen in 
the defence of Union, liberty, and law. 

Resolved, That His Excellency the Governor be directed to trans- 
mit copies of the above resolutions to the commanding officer of the 
regiments belonging to Rhode Island now in the field. 

I certify the above to be a true copy. In testimony whereof I have 
hereto set my hand and affixed the seal of the State. 

This the sixteenth day of July, A. D. 1863. 

[Seal.] JOHN R. BARTLETT, 

Secretary of State. 
[Official.] 

Crawford Allen, Jb., 
First Lieutenant and Adjutant 1st Regt R. I. Light Artillery. 

July 18th. Reveille at sunrise. The army again in motion. 
The battery, after a hasty preparation, broke camp early in the 
morning, and resumed the march back through Sandy Hook to the 
Potomac River, crossing on the pontoon bridge to Harper's Ferry. 
This was the third time that Battery B had crossed at this place. 
The ruins, the roads, and the hills were all quite familiar ; and 
passing through the town to the left we continued moving up along 
the bank of the Shena/idoah to the Old Foundry ; here we again 
crossed the river to the foot of Loudon Heights, and, moving along 
up the mountain to the pike road, passed Vestal Gap, and encamped 
for the night at Hillsboro. 

We were now, after an absence of some three weeks, treading 
again the soil of Secessia. In our temporary absence time had 
failed to clothe it with new beauties, or to inspire reverence for its 
presiding spirit. Treason was as hideous as when its brazen trumpet 
first sounded defiance to constitutional law, and sent a thrill of horror 
through the land. 

Yesterday John Healy, with a companion, who had crossed ahead 
of the troops, and were foraging for the artillery headquarter offi- 
cers' mess, were made prisoners by a squad of Mosby's men, 
and taken across the river to Charlestown, and then to Richmond. 



228 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [Jl'tyj 

On the 19th, the weather was quite warm and the army was pro- 
ceeding slowly. The battery did not break camp until noon, and 
then marched about five miles to Woodgrove, where it parked in a 
field of blackberry bushes, from one to two feet high, laden with 
large, ripe berries. We were encamped in a field of plenty. That 
night the inner man was refreshed by hot coffee, broiled pork, hard- 
tack, and for dessert — why — blackberries and sugar on toasted pilot 
bread. 

The 20th was still pleasant and warm. Resuming the march at 
eight a. M., we passed through Broomfield, and went into camp for 
the night. 

On the 21st, the battery remained quietly encamped all day. The 
horses were allowed to graze in a field of nice green grass. Some 
of the horses were, at first, a little wild at gaining such freedom, 
and commenced running and jumping, but failing to induce their 
companions to join them, quieted down and went to eating grass. 
They were allowed to feed for about an hour, when each driver 
caught his horse and returned to camp. 

At noon on the 22d, Captain Arnold received marching orders, 
and at two p. M. the battery broke camp to resume its march, follow- 
ing nearly the same route that the army did last fall, under General 
McClellan, when following the Confederate army back into Virginia 
after the battle of Antietam. The battery passed through Upper- 
ville and turning westerly passed through Paris and moved up into 
Ashby's Gap, where it went into park and bivouacked on the old 
camping ground occupied during our visit to this place on the 4th 
of last November. 

On the morning of the 23d reveille was sounded at three a. m., 
and, after a hasty preparation, the battery left camp about sunrise 
and resuming the march in the cool of the morning, passed through 
a small village situated among the hills of the Blue Ridge, about mid- 
way between Ashby's and Manassas Gaps, and having the appropri- 
ate name of Kerfoot (foot of the mountains) . At two p. m. the battery 
halted at Markham (to allow the Third and Fifth Corps to pass) and 
went into park in front of a large white house, occupied by a family 
named Ashby, cousins of the rebel General Ashby, of White Horse 
cavalry fame. After waiting two hours for the corps to pass the 
battery resumed the march up into Manassas Gap, passing through 
several small mountain hamlets of a few houses each. On arriving 
at Linden the battery went into park and bivouacked for the night. 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 229 

In a military point of view this place was of importance, as it com- 
manded the approaches from the west, and all roads entering the 
Gap. . Front Royal on the Shenandoah Valley Railroad was about 
five miles distance. 

On the 24th, the battery remained quiet in camp until about noon, 
when boots and saddles call was suddenly sounded, and hasty prepa- 
rations were made to leave the place, and, at one p. m. broke camp 
and marched back to Markham, and went into park near the Ashby 
mansion, encamping for the night. The officers of the battery were 
entertained during the evening with music and songs by two pretty 
young rebel ladies, who were stopping at the Ashby mansion. 

July 25th. Reveille at daybreak, and at half-past five a. m. the 
battery was on the road moving in an easterly direction, passing 
through Rectortown to near White Plains, and went into park and 
bivouacked for the night. At this place a very cool and audacious 
piece of work was accomplished by a squad of rebel cavalry. At a 
spring a few hundred rods to our rear where our men were getting 
water, the rebels rushed out from the wood and surrounded the men, 
driving them towards and into the woods. They succeeded in mak- 
ing off with five infantrymen prisoners. This was just at dusk, and 
by the time it was known what had been done, and word sent to 
headquarters, and before a squad of our cavalry was sent in pursuit, 
the rebels with their prisoners were beyond danger of being over- 
taken. 

On the 26th, at seven a. m., the battery was again in motion, 
broke camp, passed through White Plains to Broad Run Station (on 
the Manassas Gap Railroad west of Thoroughfare Gap), then turned 
to the right marching due south, passing Bethel Academy to War- 
renton, where a halt was made for an hour, to water and feed the 
horses. The men here improved the opportunity and made coffee. 
At two p. M. continued the march to Germantown ; then moved up 
to within a few miles of Warrenton Junction, where we halted 
and encamped for the night. It had been a very hot day, and very 
fatiguing to both man and beast, so much so that five of the horses, 
that had been worn out on the march and could not be made to travel 
any further, were condemned and shot. The roads were very dry 
and dusty, and the clouds of dust which rose covered the men and 
horses ; it could well have been said that we were now the army 
of the gray instead of the blue. But, after a few hours in camp, 
this gray robe was shaken from our garments and we appeared in 
our true colors, Union blue. 



230 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [August, 

July 27th. Cloudy with frequent showers, the battery lay in 
camp all day. Sergeant Straight, with a detail of men and the 
quartermaster-sergeant, went up to the station at Warren ton Junc- 
tion for horses. As there were none there, they returned as they 
went. 

On the 28th, the battery moved to Elk Run, and the quartermas- 
ter-sergeant again went back to the Junction for horses. As they 
had not arrived, he returned without any. 

July 29th was cloudy and quite cool for summer weather. At 
noon the battery moved to near Morrisville and parked ; it remained 
here all dav and night, but was under orders to be in readiness to 
move at a moment's notice. 

On the morning of the 30th Sergeant Straight, with a detail of 
eighteen men, was again sent up to Warrenton Junction for horses. 
At five P. M. the battery moved through Morrisville and bivouacked 
near division headquarters, remaining there all night, and at an early 
hour on the morning of July 31st, the battery, with the Third Divis- 
ion of the Second Corps, moved down to within a few miles of 
Kelly's Ford, on the Rappahannock. Here Sergeant Straight and 
the men arrived with a few horses for the battery. They did not 
get as many as expected, and one died on the march to the camp. 
Horses were scarce for the artillery. The hot weather and marching 
had worn out many of the animals, and several of the men dropped 
by the wayside. 

August 1st. Pleasant and very warm, The battery with the 
division was ordered back to Elkton to guard the roads which cen- 
tred here. This hamlet boasted of five houses, seven barns, and 
one blacksmith shed. Five roads centred there, and -a house on each 
road. " Right smart town" the negroes called it. The opinion of 
the whites could not be obtained. There were none at home on the 
occasion of our visit. The battery took position on a hill overlook- 
ing the roads. Placing the guns in battery we bivouacked for the 
night. 

On the 2d, after the morning duties were over, orders were issued 
for the men to pitch tents and make camp quarters as comfortable as 
possible as the troops were to remain here for a short time. This 
news was gladly welcomed, and the men went to work with a will. 

August 3d. Pleasant and hot. No camp duty to be done, only 
the care of the horses and guards on the lookout watching the roads. 
At ten p. M. the assembly call sounded. What was it for? Every- 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAXD LIGHT ARTILLERY. 231 

thing was quiet all about us. The infantry was not out ; their 
camps were quiet. For once Dame Rumor was asleep, or had gone 
making morning calls elsewhere, for surely she was not in camp, for 
no one seemed to know why the call was sounded. However, the 
men were soon in line, and, under the command of the first sergeant, 
the order was given, " Right face, forward march ! " and the 
column moved towards the officers' quarters. The column halted as 
the tent was reached, and, as the names of the non-commissioned 
officers were called, they marched into the tent. It then became 
known that the men were to sign the muster rolls and the word was 
passed along the line, "The paymaster is here, the paymaster is 
here ! " and so it proved, and the men were paid for the months of 
May and June. Also the detached men, who were not carried on the 
battery's muster rolls, were sent under command of a sergeant to 
their regiments, where they were made happy by receiving the few 
greenbacks due them from Uncle Sam. 

On the 4th, Major Monroe, allotment commissioner of Rhode 
Island, visited our camp for the purpose of taking such money as the 
comrades desired to send home. The allotment arrangement was 
an admirable one for safety, and many of the men improved the op- 
portunity by making remittances to their families, parents or friends. 
Not a dollar thus sent since the system was organized, failed to reach 
its destination. 

On the 5th, Lieut. Charles A. Brown, who had been on detached 
duty with Battery I, First United States Artillery, returned to Bat- 
tery B. 

On the 7th, Sergeants Straight and Williams, with twenty men, 
were sent up to Catlett's Station, and at dusk they returned with 
seventy-two hoi'ses and one mule for the baggage wagon to replace 
the one that had died on the march. Nothing of exciting interest 
had occurred during the past three days, and few incidents of any sort 
worth noting. Our pieces stood parked in battery, and in grim si- 
lence, ready to report if called upon, and the encampments of the 
troops in general were quiet. 

On the 8th, the monotonous duty of camp life was broken, when 
the men of Battery B were ordered to pack up and be in readiness 
to move. Lieutenant Perrin had received orders to report to the 
Second Division headquarters with his command. The old drivers 
were detailed to care for the horses received yesterday, and at three 
P. M. we bade adieu to the members of Battery A, and left their 



232 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [AllgUSt, 

camp, and, going to headquarters near Morrisville, encamped on the 
plain. A jolly set of men, full of enthusiasm, life and activity. 
Now there seemed to be good reasons to hope we would have guns 
again, and not be attached to another command. 

August 9th was a busy day in Battery B, the receiving and 
issuing of new supplies, under the direction of Lieut. C. A. 
Brown, while the horses were mated, and gun detachments formed. 
Elliott Collins, Morrison Heal, and Sumner Merrill, detached men 
from the Nineteenth Maine regiment, returned to the battery for 
duty. These three men with others had volunteered and came to the 
battery on the evening of the 2d of last July on the battle-field of 
Gettysburg, On account of being reduced to a four-gun battery 
their services were not required and they were returned to their 
regiment. Second Lieut. Willard B. Pierce, promoted from first 
sergeant of Battery A, First Regiment Rhode Island Light Artil- 
lery, reported to Battery B for duty. 

On the loth, the battery received a new army wagon and six 
mules, for carrying supplies. The weather was fine. Nothing of 
note had taken place with us for the past few days ; having only light 
camp duties to perform while waiting for our new guns we were 
growing too fat for business. Late in the afternoon Lieutenant 
Perrin received orders to be in readiness to move, with three days' 
rations in the haversacks of the men. This infused new life and 
activity among the men. 

Early on the morning of the 16th, Lieutenant Perrin with his 
command went up to Bealton Station and there received a park of 
four new Napoleon brass field guns, light twelve-pounders, with new 
equipments, four caissons, battery wagon, and forge complete, also 
harnesses for the horses and equipments for the sergeants' horses. In 
the afternoon we returned to camp near Morrisville in good spirits, 
well pleased with our new battery. At retreat call the following or- 
der was read, Major-General Hancock being on a leave of absence : 



Headquarters Second Army Corps, 
August 16, 1863. 



General Orders, } 
No. 27. J 



In pursuance of special orders No. 216 from headquarters Army of the 
Potomac of the 12th instant, Major-General G. R. Warren hereby as- 
sumes the temporary command of the Second Army Corps. 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 233 

Xo changes are made in the previous positions of staff officers at these 
headquarters. 

By command of 

Major-General WARREX. 
(Signed.) 

Francis A. Walker, 
Lt. Col. U. S. A., A. A. Gen. 

On the 17th, the battery was supplied with ammunition, and the 
chests were packed with 192 solid shot, 192 spherical case, 64 shell, 
64 canister, and 800 primers. This was fixed ammunition of a 
charge of one and one-quarter pound of powder. Battery B was 
now fully reorganized as a four-gun battery complete, Lieut. Wil- 
liam S. Perrin in command; Lieut. Charles A. Brown commander 
of right section, and Lieut. Willard B. Pierce commander of left 
section. There were present for duty three officers, seventy-two en- 
listed men and thirty-seven detached infantrymen ; total enlisted 
men, 109. There were absent on detached service and sick in hos- 
pital forty-six men, and Captain Hazard on detached service at artil- 
lery brigade headquarters ; First Lieut. T. Fred Brown was on sick 
leave of absence at Providence, R. I., making an aggregate of 160. 

On the 18th, we were ordered to move from near division head- 
quarters to that of the artillery brigade headquarters, and encamped 
near the woods to give shade for the horses. Here tents were pitched 
in one line with the guns and caissons parked in front, the battery 
Avagon and forge were near the woods where the horses were picketed, 
and the blacksmiths were kept busy shoeing the horses, for many 
were without shoes. 

On the 19th, we were ordered to build an arbor covered with 
boughs of evergreen over our line of tents, for protection from the 
hot rays of the sun. 

August 20th. There was a little excitement and activity to-day 
caused by an order to hitch up lively. The first section, under Lieut. 
C. A. Brown, left camp on the double quick and went a short dis- 
tance beyond Morrisviile to the cross roads on picket, remaining all 
night. The remainder of the battery stayed in camp. The weather 
for the past few days had been very warm, and at times was exceed- 
ingly hot. 

August 21st. To-day a sad and painful duty was performed by 
the provost marshal guard, that of military execution. A deserter 
of the Seventy-first Pennsylvania regiment was shot at division 



234 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [AugUSt, 

headquarters. After the Gettysburg campaign there was a marked 
increase in desertions, many regiments became badly disorgan- 
ized, and in a new phrase of the Avar "demoralized." The sym- 
pathy with criminals in 1861 and 1862 had made those of 1863 
bold and audacious, and, combined with the special exigency cre- 
ated by the appearance of the " bounty-jumper," or professional 
deserter, sufficed to bring the administration to the alternative, of 
executing the full measure of the law on all deserters. The execu- 
tion of a score of bad men in 1862 would have saved the lives of 
many good men in 1863 and 1864. The right section returned to 
camp having been relieved by a section of Battery G, First New 
York Artillery. General Warren and staff inspected the camp and 
quarters of the battery in the afternoon, and complimented us on the 
sanitary condition of the camp. 

On the 22d, a little life and activity was manifested in camp 
by orders to prepare for inspection. There had not been an inspec- 
tion of Battery B since it left Fredericksburg in June, and, as the 
battery and equipments were all new, it did not take long to get 
ready. At eleven a. m. the battery was hitched up, but remained in 
park with the gun detachments at their posts. At 11.30 Capt. 
John G. Hazard, chief of the artillery brigade of the Second Corps, 
with his staff, inspected the battery, expressing his satisfaction 
of its appearance in a short address ; the command was dismissed 
and returned to quarters with perspiration streaming from every pore, 
for the heat was very oppressive. 

August 25th. The weather had been very warm for the past few 
days, but during the evening there was a shower which lasted from 
a half to three-quarters of an hour (the first rain for a month) . It 
then cleared off cool, followed by high winds during the night. 

At ten o'clock on the morning of the 28th, the monotonous rou- 
tine of camp duty of the past few days was broken by an order for 
the command to assemble in line. All except camp guard and men 
on detail or fatigue duty were, under command of Lieut. W. S. 
Perrin, marched to division headquarters to witness the execution. 
Three men Avere to be shot for desertion. The division was drawn 
up in a square of three sides, with the provost guard and condemned 
men on the fourth. The troops had been ordered to witness this exe- 
cution for its moral effect, especially on those bounty-jumpers who 
did not enlist to fight, but for the money value they received, and, 
deserting, would enlist again under assumed names. Unfortunately, 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 235 

the provost guard detachment did their work in a very bungling 
manner, owing to the novelty and the highly distressing nature of 
their duty. After the execution we returned to camp. 

August 31st. Pleasant and warm. The month of August had 
passed quietly, the interval of rest being devoted to the reequipment of 
the troops, to inspections, and surveys of unserviceable property 
which was condemned and replaced by new. But the month was not 
to end with the troops remaining in camp, although the occasion of 
the disturbance was so trivial and odd as to give the movement some- 
what the air of a farce. To-day the Second Corps broke camp, and 
the several divisions took position covering the fords of the Rappa- 
hannock. The object of this movement was found in the purpose to 
destroy certain gunboats which the enemy had placed in the river, 
and which the cavalry, with such assistance as the infantry and ar- 
tillery might be able to render, were to cut off and destroy. Whether 
the cavalry captured the gunboats no soldier in the Second Corps 
could ever ascertain, and, after three days of this new species of hunt- 
ing, the corps returned to its old camps near Morrisville and Elkton. 

At three o'clock on the morning of the 31st, the battery was 
aroused and ordered to prepare for light marching, placing three 
days' forage on the caissons and issuing three days' rations for the 
men to carry in the haversacks ; the battery left camp at six a. m., 
leaving our tents standing and a detail of men to guard them. 
Moving southeast on the Falmouth road we passed Grove Church, 
also a small hamlet called Harwood Church, and encamped about a 
mile beyond the village on rising ground. 

September 1st. Reveille at sunrise. The cavalry had been 
marching by the camp going southeast on the Falmouth road since 
two A. M. The battery remained bivouacked on the hill all day. 
All quiet along the lines. 

On the 2d, the battery remained quiet, but some of the infantry 
made a reconnaissance towards the river, the result of which was 
uot known, as there was no report from the gunboats. As night 
falls and closes her dark mantle around us, all is quiet on the Rap- 
pahannock. 

On the 3d, there was a little stir of activity among the troops in 
the forenoon, as part of the cavalry returned and proceeded north- 
west up the river. The enemy must have received information of 
this movement, and concealed their gunboats for which the cavalry 
were looking. The battery remained in bivouac on the hill. 



236 history of battery B, [September, 

September 4th. Nothing of exciting interest had occurred since 
the battery left camp on this movement of hunting for gunboats in 
the woods, and few incidents of any description worth noting. The 
guns stood parked in grim silence ready to report when called upon. 
There was general commotion in the camps of the infantry, and, 
after the horses had been cared for and the men had partaken of a 
breakfast of hot coffee and hard-tack, a similar commotion was 
manifested in the battery by the order to pack and hitch up. At 
eight a. m. we moved out into the road and returned to Morrisville 
following the same route we came by ; passing Harwood Church 
and Grove Church, two small hamlets of three or four houses and 
a church, we arrived at our old camp about noon. In the afternoon 
several of the horses were condemned and turned in to the quarter- 
master's department sick and unfit for artillery service. 

On the 5th, the cannonneers cleaned the guns and equipments, 
while the drivers cleaned the harnesses which had become dirty on 
the march. 

On the 6th, the battery had mounted inspection by the commander, 
First Lieut. W. S. Perrin. In the afternoon cannoneers' drill at the 
manual of the piece. 

On the 7th, our cavalry was again on the move and we heard ar- 
tillery firing on the right during the day. The cavalry were making 
a reconnaisance along the river beyond Rappahannock Station. 

On the 9th, the battery received an ambulance complete, which in 
future was to accompany it on any movement. Five more horses 
were condemned, the weather and service being very hard on them. 
In the afternoon clothing was issued to those men who needed it. 

On the 10th, several men who had been absent and in the hospi- 
tal since July returned and reported for duty. John Leach, a bugler 
detached from Battery A, First Rhode Island Light Artillery, re- 
ported for duty. Stephen Boyle reported for duty as driver for the 
ambulance, detatched from the Sixty-ninth Pennsylvania regiment. 
He had been at headquarters of artillery brigade on duty for some 
time. 

On the 11th, the battery received seven new horses to replace those 
condemned and turned in to the quartermaster's department. For 
the past few days the camp of the battery had been a school for in- 
struction in drilling and disciplining the recruits and the detached 
men. Battery drill and drill at the manual of the piece were held 
about every day, so that the recruits became quite proficient in the 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 237 

different manoeuvres and were christened artillerymen, dropping the 
name of doe-boys, mud-mashers, and similar appellations given to 
the infantrymen. 

At sunrise on the morning of the 12th Lieutenant Perrin re- 
ceived orders to prepare to move, tents were struck, the battery 
equipments put in place, three days' rations of forage strapped upon 
the caissons, and three days' rations of coffee and hard-bread were 
issued to the men. At nine a. m. the battery was ordered to hitch 
up. While we were awaiting further orders the chief of artillery of 
the corps, Capt. John G. Hazard, and staff rode into camp and 
presented to Lieut. William S. Perrin a new guidon for Battery B. 
The lieutenant acknowledged the gift in behalf of the men. Then 
Captain Hazard made a short address pertaining to duties while on 
the march and what was expected of us, ending with a few words of 
encouragement and withdrew amid cheers from his old command. 
Then followed the order from Lieutenant Perrin, " Right piece, 
forward — march ! " and pulling out into the road we left camp 
going north. Crossed the Orange and Alexandria Railroad at Beal- 
ton Station, where a halt of an hour was made to make coffee, and 
at two p. M. resumed the march until dusk when a second halt was 
made, and we were ordered to park and bivouac for the night. During 
the evening there was a smart shower, and those who did not have 
their shelter tents pitched got a severe wetting. 



- B HiSTOKY OV BATTBR1 ft, [September. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 



LPEPER.— FROM THE KAF1PAX TO 

NTEFY1LLF.— RATTLF OF BRISTOL STATION. 

WHF> bono received at army 

- .....: General Lee. pressed! by the a _ 
ssities s of the west, had 

- 

- -- iekamauga. had been confirmed it caused 

rward mover... Avmy of the Potomac, in which the 

ps book tin lead. 1: was hoped to pre- 

drawal of any OKU ..eral Lee's troops holding 

K 

v I ■tember B Station was occupied by 

our cavalry. Surprising the enemy lawn they captured a 

number of pris - and rapid!] ■ '.rove the rebel cavalry 

.insula ly. _ nek and Bapidan 

v Bond and Sixth Corps were thrown forward to the 

..old the fords. The other corps followed in support, 

... skirmished over and fought for by 

the contend:: _ - - -- pressing 

oral Lee':- - asf he should send other troops to the 

e by the 

itfa orders from the war depart- 

e mover. - - .spended. and the Eleventh 

and Twt - were detach-: sent I join the Army of the 

Cumberland in : - _ - Rom 

•::nber loth, at six o'clock a. m.. the battery broke 
camp and moved down through Rappahannock Si 



- 
a 

! 

: 

2 
2 

a 

- 

! 
- 

! 
3 
Riv-: 

hoar ; then we rr. . - _ 

mou . 

! . 

we bivouacked for the . . ;avalry had . 

• 
I be plai i 

I L 
Pierce was retanring to 
from :m. 

the 17th, a - mile 

- i the camp of the First 

ro p. m. ; right oi 

Second 1 
L - 

ad. 

si • . .-. 

n which was 
^dingdo-?- s la lively cav 

mish was seen in our : I: 



240 history of battery b, [October, 

rained severely last night and daring most of the forenoon, but cleared 
at noon and was quite pleasant. There was another military execu- 
tion at division headquarters in the forenoon, one more bounty -jumper 
was shot for trying to desert to the enemy. 

On the 24th, Sergt. Albert Straight, who had been sick for some 
time aud confined to his tent, was sent to the hospital where he died 
Nov. 19, 1863. In the afternoon the paymaster put in an appear- 
ance and the battery was paid for the months of July and August. 
Ten new horses were received to replace those which had been con- 
demned. 

On the 25th, Lieut. T. Fred Brown returned to the battery and 
resumed command, and on the 26th held an inspection ; the first 
section was under Lieut. William S. Perrin, the left section under 
Lieut. Charles A. Brown, and Lieut. Willard B. Pierce was chief of 
caissons. While the battery was at the Rapidan it did picket duty 
by sections, and with us it was not a very arduous duty; if anything, 
we rather enjoyed it. 

From the loth of September until relieved the Second Corps ex- 
tended itself along the Rapidan river, its picket line being nine miles 
long. Corps headquarters were established at Mitchell's Station ou 
the Orange and Alexandria Railroad ; the Second Division at Sum* 
merville Ford on the right; the Third Division extended to Crooked 
Run on the left, with the First Division in the centre. There was 
more or less picket firing between the two lines, and a number of 
prisoners were taken. The duty of inspecting the outposts was not 
as pleasant as sometimes ; but nothing occurred of special inter- 
est until the 5th of October, when the corps was relieved by the 
Sixth, and the Second the next day withdrew to Cijlpeper. 

On October 2d, Lieut. C. A. Brown was granted a sick leave of 
absence and started for Rhode Island, and Lieut. W. B. Pierce as- 
sumed command of the left section. 

On the night of the 6th, the battery was relieved from picket duty, 
and went to the rear of artillery headquarters where we remained all 
night. At seven o'clock the next morning (October 7th) we moved 
with the artillery brigade to near Culpeper, parked and went into 
camp near our camping ground of the 13th of September. While 
here commander Lieut. T. Fred Brown made a general change of 
the non-commissioned officers. There were a number of sergeants and 
corporals absent, some in hospitals from wounds or other causes, 
and one was at artillery headquarters. First Sergt. John T. Blake 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 241 

being in the hospital, Sergt. Alanson A. Williams was acting as first 
sergeant ; Quartermaster-Sergt. Charles A. Libbey was absent on 
detached service with the commissary department, and Sergt. An- 
thony B. Horton was acting quartermaster-sergeant of the battery ; 
First Duty Sergeant John E. Wardlow was absent on detached service 
at headquarters, and Sergeant AVilliams had charge of the first gun 
detachment ; Sergt. Edwin A. Chase was absent in hospital, and 
Corp. Pardon S. Walker in charge of his detachment, the second ; 
Sergt. Richard H. Gallup was in charge of the third detachment, 
and Private John H. Rhodes, a driver, was promoted to corporal 
and placed in charge of the fourth detachment, as Sergt. Albert 
Straight was sick in hospital, and a number of corporals were pro- 
moted to gunners. This made some dissatisfaction among the non- 
commissioned officers and men who were seeking promotion, but the 
orders from headquarters were imperative and consequently had to 
be obeyed. 

On the forenoon of the 10th, the brigade was called out and as- 
sembled on the plain near headquarters to witness a somewhat sad and 
novel scene, namely : the branding and drumming out of service of 
deserters from one of the batteries. The brigade was formed into 
a hollow square facing inward, with a battery forge in the centre, the 
blacksmith blowing the bellows. The deserters were brought into 
the square under an infantry guard and took position near the forge. 
The deserters were then partially stripped of their clothing, irons 
were heated, and the letter " D " was burned upon their left hip. 
Their heads Avere then shaved after which they were marched about 
the square under guard, led by a corps of fife and drummers playing 
the " Rogue's March." It was a painful and humiliating sight, but 
undoubtedly left its salutary impression, as was designed, upon 
all who witnessed it. 

Upon the afternoon of the 10th, the battery was ordered to the 
left of the line, and moved with the Second Division to Stone Moun- 
tain three miles west of Culpeper, and went into park and bivou- 
acked for the night. We were not allowed to rest long for at two 
o'clock on the morning of the 1 1th, we were routed out, ordered to 
hitch up and moved out into the road, where we halted until day- 
light, then marching back through Culpeper passed Brandy Station 
and crossed the river at Rappahannock Station on the railroad 
bridge, going back over the same route upon which Ave advanced on 
the forward movement in September. At three p. m. halting at 



242 history. of battery b, [October, 

Bealton Station we went into park, and at night bivouacked by the 
pieces. The army was falling back across the Rappahannock. 

We remained at Bealtown until noon of the 12th, when the battery 
was ordered back post haste. We recrossed the river at the old 
place and advanced to Brandy Station, where Ave expected an engage- 
ment with the enemy. But the only foe we saw was a squad of 
about fifty prisoners goiug to the rear, they were captured by our 
cavalry advance guards. At night the battery parked, but the 
horses remained in harness, and the men bivouacked by the pieces. 
At one o'clock the next morning (the 13th) the battery was aroused, 
the division having been ordered back across the river, we re- 
ceived orders to follow, and, passing over the same route, moved 
back to Bealton Station. In crossing one of the small but deep 
streams an accident happened to the first caisson, by the breaking of 
the stock. Lieutenant Perrin had it taken to one side of the road, 
and set about repairing damages by lashing a piece of railroad tie 
to the stock so the caisson could be moved, and joining the wagon 
train went to Warrenton Junction. 

As the battery Avas approaching Bealton, there Avas heard Avhat 
seemed to be rapid and persistent skirmish firing. Dame Rumor, 
Avho had already comprehended the general situation, concluded by 
this firing that General Lee's troops had gained our rear, and that 
another battle of Bull Run Avas imminent. On arriving at Bealton, 
hoAveA-er, it Avas learned that the noise Avas occasioned by the destruc- 
tion of a large amount of small arm ammunition which could not be 
taken by the trains. 

The troops Avere tired enough to sleep at Bealton, but the time for 
rest had not yet come, as the Second Corps Avas pushing northward 
to the support of the cavalry (General Gregg's) . This movement 
upon Avhich the corps had entered Avas to be among the most arduous 
in all its history. Fayetteville Avas reached about six o'clock a. m. 
A halt Avas made and the troops Avere ordered to prepare their break- 
fast. Hot coffee, broiled salt pork and hard-bread Avas the bill of 
fare. After only three-quarters of an hour's halt, hoAvever, the order 
to fall in Avas heard, and the tired men, Avho had scarcely been al- 
lowed time to prepare a cup of coffee, Avere again summoned to the 
march. The battery Avas more fortunate, they had ample time to 
prepare their coffee, and the horses to eat their grain. At seven 
A. M. the battery was again on the road moving north. The day's 
march Avas Ions and Avearisome ; the distance traveled was not ffreat 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 243 

but such were the delays and interruptions due to the presence of 
another corps (the Third) on the same road in front, that it was 
nine o'clock in the evening before the battery halted and bivouacked 
on the south side of Cedar Run not far from the little village of 
Auburn. Here Lieutenant Perrin rejoined the battery having left 
the broken caisson with the wagon train. 

On the morning of the 14th we were aroused at four o'clock and 
the battery ordered to hitch up ; at five o'clock in the midst of a heavy 
fog we moved out of park to the Warrenton Junction road marching 
toward the northeast. On arriving at the junction with the War- 
renton road we turned to the east and crossed Cedar Run to Auburn, 
a little hamlet consisting of a post-office, saw mill, blacksmith shop 
and three or four residences. On entering the village the road 
turned sharply to the right toward the southeast, the route by which 
the corps was moving. The battery passed through this village at 
six a. m. with the Second Division. 

General Caldwell with the First Division had taken position, after 
crossing Cedar Run, to the north of the village on high rising ground 
called kk Coffee Hill" on which he had posted his artillery, the bat- 
teries of Arnold (A, First Regiment Rhode Island Light Artillery), 
Ames, and Rickett, to cover the crossing of the corps. 

As the battery was approaching Cedar Run artillery firing Avas 
heard to the right in the same direction that the troops were moving. 
What was the meaning of this — who was the enemy thus appearing 
from a quarter where only friends were to be looked for, and barring 
the road by which the Second Corps was to move? The presence of 
this force in such a place and at such a time constituted one of the 
peculiarities of warfare. It was the rebel General Stuart, with his 
two cavalry brigades and a battery of seven pieces, caught by acci- 
dent the previous night between two columns of the Union army. 
He did not dare to attempt a move at night, not knowing in which 
direction he might find the Union army the strongest ; and so he 
quietly waited until morning willing to be let alone. With morn- 
ing, however, came fresh audacity, drawing his troops up across the 
road from Auburn to Catlett's Station, and fronting the former place 
with guns in battery the rebel general awaited events. Suddenly, 
either by the lifting of the mist or the lighting up of the great fog- 
bank by the fires of the coffee makers, the position of General Cald- 
well's men on Coffee Hill was disclosed to the straining eyes of the 
Confederates. Instantly a score of shells were sent hissing among 



244 history of battery b, [October, 

the camp-fires of the First Division. But there was something on 
the road which the rebel general and his cannoneers had not observed 
through the mist. Nearer than he supposed were the avengers of 
the dead of " Coffee Hill." General Hays's division (the Third) 
which had taken the lead, was already on the road and fast ap- 
proaching its position as it marched toward Catlett's Station, and 
those missiles intended for the First Division flew over the heads of 
t lie men of the Third. 

The rebel general did not seem to realize the proximity of the 
Union troops, whether because of the fog (now rapidly lifting) or 
because of his attention being absorbed by the tempting opportunity 
offered in the massed troops on the ridge. Astonished and amazed 
was the commander of the Third Division at the unexpected fire 
upon his men, from a direction which he had every reason to suppose 
was held by Union troops ; nothing daunted, however, he dashed to 
the front while the men of the leading regiment were ordered to de- 
ploy as skirmishers and push forward against the unknown enemy. 
What the number or character of the force thus encountered might 
be General Hays could, of course, form no conjecture, but it was 
exactly what he proposed to find out in the shortest possible time. 
His skirmishers advanced rapidly to their work, and though unused 
to encountering cavalry they did not shrink from attacking the com- 
pact line formed across the road, but pushed forward to closer quar- 
ters, and opened a sharp fire on both horses and men. The enemy 
finally charged and drove the skirmishers back upon the battle line, 
which had rapidly formed and as it advanced poured a withering fire 
upon the rebels, and speedily sent their cavalry to the right about 
with no small loss. 

Finally, observing General Hays's line of battle rapidly developing 
in his front, General Stuart concluding that he had played the game 
as long as it was safe withdrew, and putting his command at a gal- 
lop went down the road toward Catlett's Station. The skirmishers 
pushing forward ascertained to the great relief of officers and men, 
that no infantry force stood behind those audacious Confederates. 
While this was being enacted at the southeast the enemy's infantry, 
under General Ewell, was fast approaching from the northwest. For 
a time it seemed as if the Second Corps, through no fault of its own, 
was caught in a trap. The closeness with which the corps was en- 
vironed can be judged from the fact, that the shot from Stuart's 
guns passed clear over our troops and fell among the advancing lines 
of Ewell actually checking their advance. 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 245 

The disappearance of the enemy's cavalry (General Stuart's) re- 
moved one feature of the situation which for the moment had been 
appalling. General Warren knew well enough that the Second 
Corps could be relied upon, no matter what the situation might be, 
and, therefore, no sooner did General Hays report the way open 
than General Warren ordered General Webb to take the advance to 
Catlett's Station with the Second Division, followed by the Third 
Division. Meanwhile General Caldwell, with the First Division 
and General Gregg's cavalry, held the enemy (General Ewell) in 
check thus covering the movements of the corps. Whether deceived 
by our demonstrations and supposing the Union force on the Cat- 
lett's Station road greater than it really was. or in pursuance of a 
plan agreed upon, General Ewell, after feeling General Caldwell's 
position along its entire length, withdrew to the north in the direction 
of Greenwich. As soon as it was seen that the enemy had aban- 
doned direct pursuit the line of battle was broken up, and the First 
Division, General Caldwell's troops, was again put in motion. 

With the exception of six or seven hours's rest at Auburn, the 
troops of the Second Corps had been almost continually on the 
march or in line of battle since the morning of the 12th ; notwith- 
standing this extra strain the troops filed rapidly and uniformly into 
the road, and again took up the route of march. An hour or more 
moved slowly by and Catlett's Station was reached. Here the Sec- 
ond and Third Divisions halted in position of battle. The trains of 
the corps joined by those of the cavalry had passed safely to the 
rear, headed for Centreville, by the Wolf Run Shoals road. Upon 
the arrival of General Caldwell, with his division, the whole corps 
was put in motion and marched up the Orange and Alexandria rail- 
road. The Second Division, General Webb, with two batteries (B, 
First Rhode Island Light Artillery, and Battery F, First Pennsylva- 
nia) took the north side of the railroad, aud the Third Division under 
General Hays the south side, the ambulances and artillery of the 
cavalry following. The First Division, General Caldwell, contin- 
ued to act as rear guard to the Second and Third Divisions which 
were moving in two columns. As the corps was put in motion to- 
wards Bristoe Station each step of the ground was measured ofF by 
the weary troops under their unusual burdens. It was nearly three 
o'clock. Battery B, First Rhode Island Light Artillery led the van, 
and Colonel Morgan accompanied the advance to select a position 
and cover the crossing at Broad Run. General Warren and staff 



246 history of battery b, [October, 

were at the rear of the column watching for the possible reappear- 
ance of the enemy (General Evvell), when suddenly firing was heard 
up the road some two miles distant which soon broke forth into a 
furious cannonade. Was the Fifth Corps, General Sykes, being at- 
tacked at Bristoe while waiting the arrival of the Second Corps? 
The spurs were sharply pressed against the flanks of the horses, and 
General Warren, followed by his staff, dashed out of the road that 
he might not hinder the troops nor be hindered by them, and through 
bush and timber made his way at a furious gallop to the front, the 
head of the column, and in a few moments he and his staff' burst 
out from the bushes upon the plains of Bristoe. Here a sight greeted 
their eyes which might appal even older soldiers. The enemy, Gen- 
eral Heth's Division of General Hill's corps, were on the hills from 
which Milford could be seen on the left and Bristoe Station in frout. 
The village of Bristoe was of even less importance as a place of 
residence than Auburn ; the village which had once given name to 
the place had disappeared, only a few burnt chimneys remaining. 
One insignificant house, however, known as Dodd's, remained and 
constituted the sole human feature of the scene. This stood on the 
right of the road, running from Brentsville to Gainesville, about one 
hundred yards north of the railroad. The ground on the south side 
of Broad Run was more than usually diversified, a number of hil- 
locks affording good positions for artillery. The enemy had reached 
this point in advance of the Second Corps, and looking toward Bris- 
toe, Heth saw no Union forces confronting him. The Army of the 
Potomac had escaped ! He looked to his left and there, across the 
plains a mile or so away, he beheld retreating troops evidently the 
rear-guard of the Union army — the prize was lost ! Quickly he 
ordered a battery (Poague's) into position to rake the retreating col- 
umn. It was the sound of Poague's guns opening on the rear of the 
Fifth Corps, which so startled General Warren as he rode with the 
rear guard, and which brought him at such a pace to the head of his 
column. Notwithstanding the swiftness with which he and his 
staff rode, before they had reached the clearing at Bristoe, answer- 
ing guns were heard and the Confederates no longer had the music 
all to themselves. The answering fire was from the well-known, 
long-proved Battery B, First Regiment Rhode Island Light Artil- 
lery, under command of Lieut. T. Fred. Brown (recovered from 
the effects of his Gettysburg wounds) and told the enemy that they 
were not to have it all their own way. 




Bristoe Station, Oct, 14, 1863. 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 247 

The battery after crossing Kettle Run was toiling slowly along, the 
men weighed down with unusual burdens and worn from loss of 
sleep, had no thought on their part that they were about to be 
thrown into the immediate presence of an enemy in full battle array. 
The booming of the guns startled the men. When the battery cleared 
the edge of a bit of woods through which it was moving, it per- 
ceived the enemy's battery on the left firing north and infantry 
moving northeast toward Broad Run. Discovering the enemy upon 
his left flank General Webb turned his division (the Second) 
sharply to the right and across the railroad, blocking for a time the 
path of Genei*al Hays's division (the Third) which had been mov- 
ing in parallel column on the other side. The halt of the Third 
Division gave the lead to the Second Division. About three p. m. 
the men of Battery B were startled by the sharp bugle call of " Can- 
noneers mount!" followed by "Trot — march!" The battery 
dashed across the railroad and up to rising ground under fire of the 
enemy's skirmishers without loss. Wheeling to the left into battery 
we opened fire using spherical case with such effect as to cause the 
enemy to conceal itself, but not until as a parting salute they had 
delivered a volley which struck the ground in front of the battery 
like hail. Fortune favored us for the fire of the enemy being too 
low the men escaped unharmed. 

By this time the infantry of the Fourth Brigade, holding the rail- 
road, received orders to move further to the right, and two regiments 
were sent across Broad Run to hold the ford at the railroad bridge 
Battery B going with them. Limbering up, the cannoneers mounted 
and the battery dashed across the field, but owing to the nature of the 
ground it was obliged to proceed some distance down the stream be- 
fore crossing, but finally went splashing through the water and up 
the bank on the other side turning to the left toward the railroad. 
Upon gaining rising ground it was discovered that the infantry, 
which had been sent over before us, had crossed back again. The 
battery was unable to recross as the road it had just passed over was 
fully commanded by the enemy. Moving up the railroad about two 
hundred yards to higher ground we wheeled into position and plac- 
ing the guns in battery at once opened fire on the enemy's (Poague's) 
battery, and enfiladed its left flank. The Confederates' battery of 
light twelve-pounders and one rifled gun replied, and maintained a 
well directed fire for two hours when five of their guns were cap- 
tured by our troops. The race for the ford had been a sharp one, 



248 history of battery b, [October, 

with the Confederates moving squarely down on General Webb's left 
flank. But the goal was won by the Union troops. Part of the 
First Brigade, the Sixty-first New York and the Eighty-first Penn- 
sylvania, crossed near the railroad to the opposite bank to hold and 
protect General Webb's right flank, aided by Battery B which was 
on the extreme right near the railroad. 

There was literally not a moment to be lost. The enemy (Cooke's 
and Kirkland's brigades) was advancing from the woods on a 
charge for the railroad, and was more than half way across the 
open space when it was met by the fire of General Webb's men, 
whose line of fire was much shorter than that of the enemy. As 
reo-iment after regiment, however, dashed forward with loud shouts 
and took position along the railroad in the cut or behind the embank- 
ment, our fire spread rapidly from right to left, and when General 
Hays's men (the Third Division) were in position our line overlap- 
ped the front of the charging line. Meanwhile Battery B, First 
Rhode Island, from beyond the creek, and Rickett's Battery, F, First 
Pennsylvania, which had taken position on the ridge near the stream 
poured upon the rebels a rapid and most effective fire. " It is con- 
ceded," says Colonel Morgan, " that the finest artillery practice in 
the experience of the corps was witnessed here from these two batte- 
ries." A few minutes later Battery A, First Rhode Island, break- 
ing through the brushes went into action behind General Owen's 
brigade, being near the road running from Brentsville to Gainesville. 
Thus far it had been simply a question of five minutes. Had these 
few minutes been lost the Confederates would have seized the rail- 
road, and the Union troops would have been fortunate if they had so 
much as formed a line of battle on the ridge to the south, and aban- 
doned the crossing of Broad Run to the enemy. As it was the five 
minutes saved the railroad, and those troops stationed in the railroad 
cut behind the embankment ; it was still a question as to whether the 
advance of the enemy could be checked. Gallantly they pressed for- 
ward in the face of a withering fire which made large gaps in their 
ranks, and if a battle flag dropped from one hand it was instantly 
seized and held aloft by another. Valiantly they fought reaching 
Dodd's house near the railroad without halting or breaking, and con- 
tinued pushing forward until they succeeded in gaining the railroad 
at two points, one of which was the crossing of the Brentsville road. 
Some of their bravest reached the embankment on General Webb's 
right about one hundred yards from the Run. 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 249 

Excepting the momentary wavering of a company or two the 
Union troops had kept up their fire with unusual coolness and regu- 
larity, and showed no signs of a panic at seeing the enemy within 
our lines at two different points. The Confederates who reached 
the railroad in the centre were shot down by men of the 
Tammany regiment (Forty-second New York). On the right the 
Eighty-second New York changed front to the left, and killed, dis- 
persed or captured all of the rebels who crossed the track near the 
Run. The enemy now at varying distances from our front halted, 
wavered and was finally forced back by the hail of musket shot 
poured into its ranks, and turning fled to the cover of the woods. 
Quick as thought amid loud cheers the men of half a dozen Union 
regiments (of the Second and Third Divisions) sprang across the 
railroad, and dashed forward after the retreating foe to gather up the 
trophies of the fight. They entered the woods in line of battle so 
lately held by the enemy, and taking 450 prisoners with tw r o colors 
from under the very nose of the supporting brigade, and safely re- 
turned with them. Five guns of Poague's battery were captured and 
drawn across the track by the rollicking skirmishers. 

It was related that at the time these prisoners were brought into 
the lines of the Second Division, and saw the white trefoil of their 
captors, they recognized their old antagonists of Gettysburg and ex- 
claimed : " Those damned white clubs again ! " 

Battery B remained out on the flank beyond Broad Run near the 
railroad for two hours, and maintained a well directed lire on the 
enemy enfilading its right flank with such effect as to cause it to seek 
shelter. 

At dusk the battery by orders recrossed Broad Run and joining 
the Second Division went into park in a hollow among small pines. 
Remaining only a short time, however, as we were soon ordered to 
the front to the ridge occupied by Rickett's battery ; during the 
move we passed the captured prisoners and guns. As Battery B 
approached the ridge, Rickett's Battery, having been relieved, was 
limbering up to withdraw when the enemy opened fire on them, 
causing no little confusion as the shells burst in their midst wound- 
ing several men and horses. The nature of the ground was such 
that the enemy did not observe Battery B approaching, which upon 
gaining the crest of the ridge wheeled into position and opened fire 
on those guns which were firing upon Rickett's Battery. After 
using about twenty rounds we received orders to cease firing, and, 



250 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [October, 

strange to say, did not receive a shot from the enemy's battery which 
had caused Rickett's so much confusion. 

The battery remained in this position until the corps withdrew 
and left the enemy in possession of the situation. 

Battery B's casualties in the engagement at Bristoe Station Oct. 
14, 1863 were: One man killed, Chester F. Hunt; and four 
wounded, Martin V. B. Eaton, Charles Clark and James B. Porter ; 
John T. Gardiner slightly wounded. The last two were detached 
men from the One hundred and Fortieth Pennsylvania regiment. 
Joseph Cassen was again taken prisoner having returned only a short 
time previously to the battery from parole camp. Lieut. William S. 
Perrin was hit on the foot with a fragment of shell which took off 
the tap from the sole of his boot causing only a slight lameness to 
his foot. 

During the engagement beyond the Run the battery expended one 
hundred and seventy rounds of ammunition. 

Extracts from official records. From the report of General Warren, 
commanding Second Corps. 
" The action had come upon us suddenly, and Lieutenant Brown's 
Battery B, First Rhode Island, though separated by a long interval 
from the infantry maintained itself on our extreme right, and 
poured a most destructive fire upon the flank of the enemy's line of 
battle during its advance and retreat." 

From report of General Webb, commanding Second Division. 
" Lieutenant Brown's Battery B, First Rhode Island, crossed Broad 
Run under general orders which I had given it, and obtained a posi- 
tion which completely enfiladed the enemy's line when it charged. 
The battery did good service, was without infantry support for a long 
time, but by its activity and boldness held its position without attack, 
except by artillery fire, since the enemy naturally supposed it was 
supported." 

Report of Chief of Artillery Second Corps, Capt. John G. Hazard. 

"At three p. M. the advance of the corps, while marching by the 
flank, was met at Bristoe Station by a column of the enemy moving 
in the same direction. The Second Division immediately secured 
the southern side of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad as a line of 
defense, and Brown's Rhode Island Battery temporarily attached 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 251 

to fche division obtained a most fortunate position and opened fire 
with spherical case upon the advancing line of the enemy checking 
it, and causing it to seek shelter under the crest in its immediate 
front. Lieutenant Brown was then ordered into position on the east- 
ern side of Broad Run by General Webb, whose division was 
about to make a similar move. After the crossing of the battery, 
it was seen that the division had recrossed the Run to its 
former position. The battery was unable to recross as the road 
it had just passed over was fully commanded by the enemy. So it 
moved up to the railroad, a distance of two hundred yards, to a 
position that enfiladed the enemy, and opened fire with good effect." 

Report of Lieut. T. Fred. Brown commanding Battery B, First 
Regiment Rhode Island Light Artillery. 

" Captain : I have the honor to submit the following report of 
the part taken by Battery B, First Regiment Rhode Island Light Ar- 
tillery on the 14th of October. Was attached to Second Division 
Second Corps, Brig. Gen. A. S. Webb commanding, and at 
three p. M. on the 14th, was moving up the north side of Alexandria 
and Orange Railroad near Bristoe Station, Va. When the enemy's 
skirmishers suddenly opened upon the battery from the woods on the 
left, we moved forward on a trot and fortunately were soon enabled to 
cross to the south side of the railroad without loss and joined the ad- 
vance of our column. General Webb ordered the battery into posi- 
sition with intentions to fire a few rounds at the enemy which was 
rapidly advancing in line of battle upon the railroad from the north 
side at a distance of about six hundred yards. General Webb fur- 
ther ordered the battery to cross Broad Run as soon as a similar 
movement on the part of his division began to take place. 

Opened fire with spherical case with such effect as to cause the 
enemy to conceal itself. Observing that the movement of the troops 
across Broad Run had commenced proceeded to follow as ordered. 
From the nature of the ground was obliged to proceed some distance 
down the Run. After crossing, it was seen that the troops had all 
recrossed. The battery was unable to recross as the road it had just 
passed over was fully commanded by the enemy, so moved up to the 
railroad about two hundred yards to a commanding position that en- 
filaded the enemy, and immediately opened fire with good effect. A 
battery of four light twelve-pounder guns and one rifled gun replied, 
and maintained a well directed fire for two hours that was fully 



252 history of battery b, [October, 

responded to. Was ordered to recross Broad Run, join division, go 
into park aud wait orders. Was again placed in position and ex- 
pended about twenty rounds. Withdrew at dark and moved with 
corps across Bull Run and encamped. Sustained a loss during en- 
gagement of one man killed, four wounded, two horses killed, and 
seven wounded. Expended about one hundred and seventy rounds 
of ammunition. 

Bugler John F. Leach is especially to be mentioned for collecting 
thirteen stragglers (infantry), and disposing of them as skirmishers 
on the right flank of the battery on the north side of the railroad, at 
the time when the battery was wholly unsupported across the Run, 
without doubt preventing much annoyance from the enemy's skir- 
mishers (who engaged his men) if not the capture of the battery." 

Extract from report of Gen. A. P. Hill, C. S. Army, commanding 

Third Corps. 

" Poague's battalion was ordered to take another position and 
open fire on the battery which was enfilading General Kirkland's 
line. This was not done as quickly as I expected and General Kirk- 
land's line was exposed to a very deliberate and destructive fire. 
About this time Generals Cooke and Kirkland were both wounded, 
and their fall at this critical moment had a serious influence upon the 
fortunes of the contest. Brigadier-General Posey was seriously 
wounded by a shell* in the early part of the action." 

Extract from report of Gen. H. Heth, C. S. Army, commanding 

division to wJiich General Cooke's and Kirkland's brigades 

belonged. 

" When in the 'railroad cut his men (Kirkland's) were exposed to 
an enfilading fire from the right, in addition to a severe fire from a 
battery on the north side of Broad Run. The position was untena- 
ble, and he was compelled to fall back." 

From these reports, there is no doubt but that Battery B, First 
Regiment of Rhode Island Light Artillery, Lieut. T. Fred. Brown 
commanding, held an important position at the battle of Bristoe Sta- 
tion, as well as having the honor of opening the fight and preventing 
the enemy from gaining possession of the railroad and ford. 

* From Battery B. 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 253 

Great as was the relief of the corps commander when night closed 
down upon the field of Bristoe, all cause for anxiety had not disap- 
peared as a great responsibility lay in withdrawing the corps from a 
superior force, and at the same time save it from being driven 
from the railroad to be captured or destroyed. It was in view of 
such possibilities that General Warren gave most punctilious instruc- 
tions for the withdrawal, and, until the troops were fairly across 
Broad Run, no word of command was given above a whisper. The 
men prevented the rattling of their haversacks and canteens, and thus, 
in ghostly silence the corps stole away marching by the flank across 
the enemy's front within three hundred yards of their skirmishers, 
and in half range of their smooth bore guns. The little camp fires of 
the Confederates were seen burning at a hundred points across the 
plains still strewn with the dead where the enemy had charged, and 
up on the hill beyond new brigades were even then coming up to the 
expected battle of the morrow. Borne on every breeze were the 
voices of the Confederate soldiers in familiar talk around their camp 
fires, the challenging of sentinels or the low groans of their wounded, 

Within the Union lines all was silence and darkness, no camp fires 
showed their flickering light, and no hum of voices was heard as 
Battery B, with the Second Corps of the Army of the Potomac, stole 
away from the presence of the great horde of the Confederate Army 
which had for hours held them at its mercy. Crossing Broad Run 
by the ford and railroad the infantry and artillery, not forgetting the 
five captured guns (which with some difficulty had been furnished 
horses), made their way over the great plains stretching towards 
Manassas, and between three and four o'clock on the morning of the 
15th Battery B halted, and going into park bivouacked. 

Sixty-nine hours had elapsed since leaving Bealton Station on the 
morning of the 12th, and the jaded troops, who had been either in 
column on the road, in line of battle, skirmishing or fighting with the 
enemy for more than sixty hours, were allowed at last to throw 
themselves upon the ground on the north bank of the Bull Run, near 
Blackburn's Ford, and for a time rest from their labors. 

Well may Colonel Morgan say that this campaign, short as it was, 
" was more fatiguing than that of the Seven Days on the Peninsula, 
since the marches were much longer." 

For its exertions and sacrifices the corps received a generous mea- 
sure of praise, from its country, its comrades, and the commander of 
the Army of the Potomac. The following is General Meade's order 
of announcing the affair at Bristoe : 



254 history ok battery b, [October, 

Headquarters of the Army of the Potomac, 

October 15, 1S63. 
General Orders, { 
No. 96. J 

Tbe major-general commanding announces to tbe army that tbe rear- 
guard, consisting of the Second Corps, was attacked yesterday while 
marching by the flank. 

Tbe enemy, after a spirited contest, was repulsed losing a battery of 
five guns, two colors, and four hundred and fifty prisoners. 

The skill and promptitude of Major-General Warren, and the gal- 
lantry and bearing of the officers and soldiers of the Second Corps are 
entitled to high commendation. 
(Signed,) 

By command of Major-General MEADE. 

S. Williams, Assis't Adft General. 

Colonel Morgan justly said, that even the high credit which Gen- 
eral Warren received for his conduct on this occasion, did not equal 
his deserts owing to facts not generally known. " General Warren 
had," he said, " not only to meet the enemy, but to change the for- 
mation made before he arrived on the field, and to effect this in the 
face of a powerful advance of the enemy. His quickness and decis- 
ion inspired the troops with great confidence in him." This testimony 
was worth all the more because the first formation of General 
Webb's division, to which Colonel Morgan alludes, was one in 
which he had himself concurred as General Warren's staff officer. 

If asked how it happened that Battery B and the Second Corps 
escaped annihilation on the 14th of October, it can only be explained 
by declaring that the Confederates were slower than they usually 
were on occasions of equal importance. General Hill was on high 
ground above Bristoe Station for more than an hour in advance of 
General Webb, and General Heth had four brigades deployed while 
Battery B and General Webb's troops were still toiling along the road, 
more or less straggled by the long march and the recent crossing 
of Kettle Run. There was nothing to prevent General Ewell, on 
the other hand, from following the Second Corps through Catlett's 
Station, up along the track to Bristoe Station, and to advance as fast 
as the troops of the Second Corps retired. Then as soon as the rear 
of the corps halted, he could have thrown out skirmishers on the rear 
guard's front, and followed with lines of battle which could have 
formed behind the skirmishers. 

A most curious feature of this case was that not only had General 
Ewell fought General Hooker on this very field the year before, during 
the Second Bull Run campaign, but this was his own country home 
and he knew the ground well. 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 255 



CHAPTER XIX. 



CENTREVILLE TO THE RAPID AN.— BATTLE OF MINE 
RUN.— WINTER QUARTERS. 

OCTOBER loth. It was quite late in the morning, nearly 
eight o'clock, before the men were called upon for camp 
duty. The rest and sleep they had been able to obtain 
were quite refreshing to both mind and body, and as a result per- 
formed their duties with a will. The empty limber chests were soon 
repacked with ammunition, horses fed and cared for, while the men 
received fresh rations. 

About noon the camps of the infantry, to our right and front, were 
thrown into a state of confusion by a visit from some of General 
Stuart's cavalry (the enemy) on a reconnaissance to our line, and as 
a parting salute they threw some of those fiendish Hotchkiss 
shells into the camp, fortunately, however, without any great damage. 

On the 16th, the weather was warm and showery during the morn- 
ing. Just about noon the battery was ordered to the front, and 
advanced on the pike road about two or three miles only to retrace 
its steps in the afternoon, and return to camp in the old earthworks 
about Centre ville. 

On the 17th, being short handed the battery received fifteen volun- 
teer recruits from the infantry, they were formed as a detachment and 
drilled at the manual of the piece, after which they were assigned to 
the gun detachments. 

On the 18th, the battery received marching orders, and during the 
forenoon was busy preparing for the move. At noon the infantry 
recruits, received yesterday, were sent back to their regiment much to 
the disappointment of the men. In their stead the battery received 



256 history of battery b, [October, 

detached men from Lieutenant Frank's Battery I, First United 
States, which had been relieved from the artillery brigade and 
mounted to perform duty with the cavalry corps of the Army of the 
Potomac. The men received were : William Bruce, Edward Cur- 
tis, Robert H. Cooper, William J. Cooper, John Fox, John H. Hal- 
ler, William James, Ludwick Ling, John McGuire, David N. Mine- 
singer, Henry Odell, John G. Pierce, Joseph Rhodenburg, and 
Washington Whitlock. The artillery brigade was reenforced by 
Lieutenant Weir's Battery C, Fifth United States Artillery, and In- 
dependent Battery C, of Pennsylvania. 

On the 19th, the weather was quite cool, it rained most of the 
forenoon, but cleared at noon though still cool. At eight o'clock the 
battery broke camp and pulling out of park into the pike road, with 
the Second Division, commenced the march southward again after 
the rebel army. Forded Broad Run at the railroad near Bristoe 
Station. The enemy in its retreat had torn up the rails, and des- 
troyed and burned the railroad bridge by which the troops crossed on 
the night of the 14th. We passed over the position occupied by the 
rebel battery (Poague's) with which we were engaged during the 
fight at Bristoe Station. The effect of our artillery fire could plainly 
be seen, there were four dead horses and a mule, a broken wheel, 
battered canteens, and broken rails strewn about ; while the trees by 
their broken limbs and torn bark showed the effects of our shot. 
The division halted a short distance beyond Bristoe Station where 
the battery was ordered into park and bivouacked for the night. 

At seven o'clock on the morning of the 20th, the battery resumed 
its march moving north to Gainesville, thence south to Greenwich and 
down to Auburn ; no enemy appearing on the route of march the di- 
vision was halted and ordered into camp. The battery was ordered 
into park on their old camping ground of the night of the loth in- 
stant. We remained encamped during the 21st and 22d with the 
Second Division. 

On the 23d, the Second Corps moved its camp from Auburn to the 
railroad crossing at Turkey Run, about half way between Warren- 
ton and Warrenton Junction, where the corps remained nearly a 
fortnight. 

The battery moved with the corps, and went into camp near the 
Run about a quarter of a mile from the crossing where we remained 
until the corps moved. 

While encamped a number of changes took place with the com- 
missioned and non-commissioned officers. 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 257 

On the 24th, Sergt. John E. Wardlow was discharged to receive a 
commission as first lieutenant in Company E, Fourteenth Rhode 
Island Heavy Artillery (colored troops) ; and Second Duty Sergt. A. 

A. Williams was promoted to first duty sergeant, also acting as first 
sergeant in place of First Sergt. John F. Blake who was still in 
hospital. 

On the 28th, Lieut. -Col. J. Albert Monroe, First Rhode Island 
Light Artillery, reported to the Second Corps for duty, and as senior 
officer of artillery relieved Capt. John G. Hazard who was chief of 
artillery of the corps. The captain subsequently returned to Battery 
B and assumed command. 

On the 30th, at 11 o'clock A. M., the battery held mounted inspec- 
tion by Lieut. -Col. Monroe, with Capt. John G. Hazard in com- 
mand, First Lieut. T. Fred. Brown the right section, First Lieut. 
William S. Perrin the left section, and Second Lieut. Willard B. 
Pierce was chief of caissons, in place of Second Lieut. Charles A. 
Brown absent on sick leave. Everything passed off pleasantly. 

On the 31st, the battery was mustered for the months of Septem- 
ber and October, and the pay rolls signed, but when we were to be 
paid was another question not satisfactorily answered. 

Sunday, November 1st, the usual inspection took place in the 
morning. The weather was pleasant and warm for the time of year. 
At noon a detail of men under Lieutenant Perrin and Sergt. Anthony 

B. Horton went to Warrenton Junction after horses, and late at 
night returned with seven. 

The cars made their appearance passing in sight of our camp for 
the first time since our advance, the repairs to the railroad had been 
made thus enabling them to run. 

On the 4th, Corp. John F. Hanson was promoted to fourth duty 
sergeant, a number of other sergeants were also promoted. 

The weather for the past few days had been remarkably pleasant, 
and the time was spent in drill at the manual of the piece ; proving 
of much benefit to the recruits, and making them quite proficient in 
the different manceuvres. 

On the 6th, the battery attended brigade drill, and was compli- 
mented on its promptness in executing the different movements, upon 
the fine appearance of its men, and the good condition of the horses 
and equipments. In the evening received marching orders, and at 
seven o'clock on the morning of the 7th the battery broke camp, and 
with the corps marched south passing through Warrenton Junction to 



258 history of battery b, [November, 

Bealton where a halt was made for coffee. Resuming the march we 
passed through Morrisville to the Rappahannock River, where the 
corps halted and the battery bivouacked near Kelly's Ford. 

Cannonading had been heard in our front and away up to the right 
all the afternoon. Our advance troops were forcing the rebels to fall 
back, and in their retreat they were destroying the bridges, tearing 
up the railroad tracks and burning the sleepers in order to bend the 
rails ; culverts were blown up, and in fact the destruction was carried 
out in a very systematic manner. 

On the morning of the 8th the battery broke camp, and moving to 
the river crossed on the pontoon bridge which had been thrown 
across for the advance of the Third Corps, the Second Corps follow- 
ing up to the support of the Third. The battery after crossing 
turned to the northwest moving very slowly on account of the large 
number of troops on the road, about noon, however, the roads be- 
came less crowded and traveling much easier ; at night we bivouacked 
near Brandy Station. On the road we passed a number of Confed- 
erate prisoners, and four pieces of artillery that were captured by 
the Sixth Corps. 

Just before the battery halted we passed Batteries E and G, First 
Regiment Rhode Island Light Artillery, and many pleasant words 
were exchanged with friends and comrades from our mother state. 

On the 9th, the battery remained quietly in camp all day, but on the 
morning of the 10th at eight o'clock it broke camp, and moving up 
nearer the railroad and station went into camp near corps headquar- 
ters. In the afternoon of the 11th orders about reenlistiug and grant- 
ing furloughs were read to the men. 

November 12th, was hailed with joy. Dame Rumor had been busy 
with flying reports that the paymaster had arrived, and sure enough 
he was at headquarters for, at nine o'clock A. M., the battery was 
called into line, marched to the officers' quarters, and its men were 
paid for the months of September and October. 

Captain Hazard, who had been confined to his quarters by sick- 
ness, went to the hospital up at corps headquarters to-day, and on the 
21st was granted a sick leave of absence. Lieut. T. Fred. Brown is 
again in command of the battery. 

On the 21st, the battery was ordered to move down to the Artillery 
Brigade encampment, and the next day preparations were made to 
lay out a camp which seemingly indicated that the battery was go- 
ing into winter quarters. 







Mine Run, Nov. 8, 1863. 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 259 

On the 23d, Bugler John Leach returned to Battery A, First 
Rhode Island Light Artillery, and John Doyle a detached man was 
promoted bugler. 

On the 24th, Corp. John H. Rhodes was promoted to sergeant 
vice Sergt. Albert Straight deceased. Guidon Charles H. Adams 
was promoted to sergeant vice Richard H. Gallup resigned to go to 
artillery headquarters on detach service as butcher. 

The past few days had been spent in drilling and holding inspec- 
tions. No prospect of winter quarters being built. 

On the evening of the 25th the battery received marching orders, 
and at sunrise on the 26th it broke camp marching all day until late 
in the afternoon, when it halted at the Rapidan River where it bivou- 
acked for the night. Crossed the river at sunrise on the morning of 
the 27th by the pontoon bridge while the pieces, caisson, and wagons 
crossed by the Germania Ford ; the water came up nearly to the 
bottom of the ammunition chests. We pushed on about four miles 
from the river when we halted, and were ordered into park bivou- 
acking for the night near Flat Run Church. 

The morning of the 28th was cold and rainy. The battery at an 
early hour had received orders to advance to the front with the Sec- 
ond Division, and moved out of camp to the Orange turnpike where 
a halt was made to allow the infantry to proceed as heavy firing from 
the skirmishers was heard in our front. After the infantry had 
passed the battery was ordered to advance at a double-quick with 
cannoneers mounted, and took position on a knoll covered with a 
young growth of shrubs. As the battery was unlimbering for action 
it had one horse killed and another wounded by the enemy's sharp- 
shooters, but we did not become engaged as our infantry routed the 
enemy which retreated so fast that our services were not needed. 

At three o'clock in the afternoon the corps was further advanced 
beyond Robertson's Tavern to the hills facing toward Mine Run. 
General Hays's division led, with General Webb's next in col- 
umn. After advancing a short distance the Second Division turned 
sharply to the left, and fortunately General Webb led his troops for- 
ward at the double-quick, for as his leading brigade came up into 
line on the crest it came face to face with a line of rebel skirmish- 
ers followed by a battle line only a few yards distant, which was ad- 
vancing to seize the same position. General Webb's men were just 
enough ahead in the race to gain the crest and open fire on the foe. 
The enemy was apparently not prepared for a contest, and fell back 



260 history of battery b, [December, 

after a brief skirmish. Battery B which had been ordered up on 
the ridge came into position, and placing the guns in battery opened 
fire on the rebels as they retreated to the woods. During the re- 
mainder of the day the battery was engaged in shelling the enemy's 
lines. Although some of their shot and shell came remarkably close 
to us we sustained no casualties. At midnight we received orders, 
and, withdrawing from the front went back to Robertson's Tavern, 
and parked in an open field while the men bivouacked beside the 
guns. 

On the 29th and 30th the battery remained encamped near the 
Orange turnpike, while the infantry of the division, to which we 
were attached, was sent down to the left of the line near Good Hope 
Church on the Orange Plank road. 

Although the battery received marching orders at sunrise on the 
morning of December 1st it was noon before we broke camp. Pull- 
ing out into the turnpike we moved in an easterly direction until the 
Germania Ford road was reached, then moving up to the six corners, 
called the Cross Roads, we took the middle road going to the Rapi- 
dan River which we crossed at sunset by the Culpeper Mine Ford, 
and, going into park bivouacked a short distance from the river, the 
horses remained in harness all night. 

At an early hour on the morning of the 2d the battery, with the 
division, was ordered back to Brandy Station where we arrived late 
in the afternoon and went into park at our camping ground of No- 
vember 26th. We remained here until noon of tb6 4th when we 
moved to the edge of the woods near by, and preparations were be- 
gun to lay out a camp. In the afternoon, however, the battery 
received marching orders. The troops had returned to the north side 
of the Rapidan, and the flank movement on General Lee's right, at 
Mine Run, was at an end. 

At eight o'clock on the morning of the 5th the battery with the 
corps left Brandy Station, and moving south to Stevensburg en- 
camped. Corps headquarters was established at the Thorn House 
on Cole's Hill. The infantry were assigned a position on the plains 
for their winter camping ground, but the artillery was not assigned 
its position until after the infantry. 

On the afternoon of the 5th, at roll call, an order was read which 
promoted Sergt. A. A. Williams to first sergeant vice First Sergt. 
John T. Blake discharged to accept a commission as second lieuten- 
ant in Battery A, First Rhode Island Light Artillery. Corp. Pardon 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 261 

S. Walker was promoted to sergeant, vice Sergeant Williams pro- 
moted. 

On the 8th, the battery was moved up to Cole's Hill near headquar- 
ters, and on the 9th again commenced preparations to lay out a win- 
ter camp. This place, however, was not destined to be our camping 
ground for at noon, on the 10th, we were again ordered to move to 
the southwest on rising ground near the edge of a belt of woods 
skirting the plains ; this was a much better place for the protection 
of the horses than any we had thus far occupied. 

On the 11th, the camp was finally laid out, and winter quarters of 
huts were built. The pieces and caissons were parked to the south 
on level ground, while on the rising ground north of the park the 
huts for the men were built in two lines ; to the east of these were the 
artificers', quartermaster's, and cooks' huts. To the northeast of 
these was the stable stockade for the horses. North of the centre of 
the line of men's quarters was the first sergeant's hut, and north of 
the west end of the line was the duty sergeant's hut. North of the 
line of sergeants' quarters was an open space, called the parade 
ground, used for the assembly of the command at roll calls, and north 
of this space were the officers' quarters. 

It took some eight or ten days to make the camp, but it was finally 
finished to the satisfaction of the officers. Then commenced a series 
of drills on pleasant days, while camp and mounted inspections with 
the daily camp duties occupied the time until the opening of the 
spring campaign. 

After the return of the troops from the Mine Run campaign a pol- 
icy was adopted for granting furloughs of ten days, to such of the 
men, as were recommended by their officers, the number being limited 
to three in a battery. Later this policy was amended by only grant- 
ing furloughs to those who had served two years or more, providing 
they would reenlist for another term of three years ; under this order 
many of the old regiments were sent home to enjoy both their brief 
vacation of thirty days, and, if possible, to recruit their number for 
the coming struggle. Leaves of absence were also given to the com- 
missioned officers. 

On the 14th, Sergt. Anthony B. Horton and privates Benjamin A. 
Burlingame and James Bowe a detached man received furloughs of 
ten days and left for home. They were the first and last men who 
received a furlough without reenlisting, for on the 16th, the follow- 
ing order was read to the command, and no more ten days' furlou°-hs 
were granted to privates : 



262 history of battery b, [December, 

State of Rhode Island, 

Executive Department, 

Providence, Dec. 15, 1863. 
Soldiers of Rhode Island : 

By General Orders No. 191, from the War Department, you are offered 
a bounty of four hundred dollars and granted certain privileges if you 
will ree'nlist for " three years, unless sooner discharged." To this 
Rhode Island desires to add her bounty of three hundred dollars, and 
so, in part, repay the debt that she owes those brave men who, at the 
commencement of this Rebellion, freely offered their lives without set- 
ting a price upon their services. Now an opportunity is given you to re- 
enlist, and receive a liberal bounty from your State as well as your gov- 
ernment. 

The term for which you enlisted has not yet expired, but by enlist- 
ing for three years from the present time, unless sooner discharged, you 
can receive these bounties now held out to you. 

Everything now indicates that your services will not be required three 
years longer, therefore, by ree'nlisting under this order you commence 
your new term before the expiration of your first one, and are also by 
General Orders No. 376, War Department, granted a furlough of thirty 
days before the expiration of your original term of enlistment. 

These advantages are held out to you if you ree'nlist before the fifth 
day of January next, and it is evident that no better opportunity can 
occur for those who desire to again enter the service of their country. 

Soldiers! the Union still needs your services! Now is the time to 
again offer yourselves for the preservation of that government which has 
so long protected you and your homes. 

JAMES Y. SMITH. 

By His Excellency the Governor. 

Chas. E. Bailey, 
Colonel and Private Secretary. 

On the 21st, Capt. John G. Hazard returned to the battery and 
resumed command. 

On the 26th, Lieut T. Fred Brown left for Rhode Island having 
been granted a furlough. 

On December 31st, the muster rolls were signed for the months of 
November and December. 

At noon thirteen men, the first squad of reenlisted men as veteran 
volunteers, left for Rhode Island on a thirty-five days' furlough. 
The happy men were : First Sergt. A. A. Williams, Sergt. Charles 
H. Adams ; Corps. Calvin L. Macomber, Nelson E. Perry, Charles 
W. Wood; and Privates John Eatock, Calvin C. Fletcher, John 
Glynn, John Healy, John Kelly, William McCullum, Charles J. 
Rider and Francis Slaiger. With their furloughs safely placed in 



1863.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 263 

the inside pocket of their blouses they started on their way rejoicing. 
At Brandy Station they took the train for Washington. 

January 1st. New Year's day came and passed as pleasantly as 
could be expected in the midst of civil war on rebel soil, and in front 
of a rebel army. The departure of the old gentleman with the ven- 
erable beard and ominous scythe, whose portrait has so often arrested 
attention, was not attended by any special demonstrations of nature, 
while his successor was ushered in with a cool, not to say freezing, 
reception. "All was quiet " along the Rapidan. 

In the afternoon the battery received five detached men, recruits 
transferred from Battery G, First New York Light Artillery, namely : 
James Cavanagh, Peter Guinan, Timothy Lyons, Charles McGlock- 
lin, and Fred Smith. Richard Fetthousen was to have come but 
was detained in the hospital. 

On the 10th, the battery had a mounted inspection, and, for the first 
time since May, 1863, all of the commissioned officers were present, 
namely : Capt. John G. Hazard ; First Lieuts. T. Fred. Brown 
and William S. Perrin ; Second Lieuts. Charles A. Brown and Wil- 
lard B. Pierce ; 109 men were also present for duty, forty-eight men 
absent either on detached duty, sick in hospital, or on furlough. 

On February 5th, Lieut. Willard B. Pierce was detailed, and went 
up to artillery headquarters on detached service as adjutant, where 
he remained until Lieut. G. Lyman D wight returned from his 
furlough. 

On the 6th, it was cold and rainy, but at three o'clock in the morn- 
ing the battery was thrown into a state of excitement by receiv- 
ing light marching orders to be in readiness to move at a moment's 
notice. Reveille was sounded and the camp was soon in a bustle, 
accompanied by the following exclamations : " What's up ! What 
is it ! have the rebs got in our rear? " No one could answer, Dame 
Rumor for once was quiet. The battery was soon in readiness wait- 
ing for further orders. Breakfast of hot coffee, hard-tack, and pork 
was soon disposed of, and then came an interval of tedious waiting 
for something to turn up. At daylight an order came for a detail of 
fifteen men, including one sergeant and two corporals, to report to 
Battery G, First New York Artillery, for duty. This detail (called 
because Battery G was short-handed, many of its men being absent) 
was soon made and the men left camp under guide of the aide who 
brought the order. During the day artillery firing was heard at in- 
tervals in the direction of the Rapidan. 



264 history of battery b, [February, 

Battery B was not called upon nor any of the smooth bore bat- 
teries, only those having rifle or long range guns went with the corps 
to Morton's Ford. 

The men detailed from Battery B on arriving at the camp of the 
New York battery found it hitched up and ready for a move ; they 
were assigned to the two gun detachments of the centre section and 
Sergt. John H. Rhodes was placed in command of the section. 

All being in readiness Battery G, First New York Artillery, left 
its camp, and, with the Second Corps, took up the line of march on 
a flank movement. Reaching the Rapidan the battery was placed in 
position in an open field to the right of a dense strip of woods, while 
the enemy's intrenched lines could be seen on the opposite side. 
When the infantry advanced to carry the ford Battery G was ordered 
to open fire on the enemy's works. 

The artillery on both sides answered promptly and continued firing 
while General Owen's brigade was thrown forward, and cautiously 
advanced until the situation could be clearly discerned, when it 
dashed through the ford capturing the entire picket line of the enemy. 
A strong skirmish line was then thrown out, and, though the ene- 
my's skirmishers heavily reenforced firmly resisted, they were driven 
backward step by step into their works. 

No active assault was made on the enemy's works, but a semblance 
was vigorously kept up during the day, and at night we bivou- 
acked on the field. We remained here during the next day until 
sunset, when Battery G received orders to withdraw from the front 
and returned to their camp, thus relieving the men of Battery B who 
returned to their battery at noon on the 8th all safe and sound. 

This break in the winter's rest of the corps was caused by a pre- 
arranged plan of the War Department at Washington. General 
Butler, commanding the Army of the James, was to move rapidly 
upon Richmond and seek to capture the city by surprise, while the 
Army of the Potomac was to cooperate by moving down to the Rapi- 
dan, and pretending to assume the aggressive in order to detain Gen- 
eral Lee's army on the line of the Rapidan. 

In pursuance with this plan the Second Corps on the morning of 
the 6th of February moved to Morton's Ford, under command of 
General Caldwell, and performed the part assigned it. It is needless 
to say that General Butler's movement on to Richmond amounted to 
nothing ; the loss to the Second Corps, viz. : ten men killed, sixteen 
officers, and one hundred and ninety-three men wounded, and one 



1864.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 265 

officer and forty-one men missing (taken prisoners), was greater than 
that of the Army of the James, which admitted having lost six for- 
age caps. 

On February the 17th, our paymaster made us a welcome visit and 
the battery was paid for the months of November and December, 
1863. The veterans (those having reenlisted) who had not been 
paid received, besides the two months' pay due for 1863 (which for a 
sergeant was $17 per month, a corporal 814, and for a private $13), 
their pay for January and February, in advance, amounting to $52 
for the four months, $60 of the $400 bounty for reenlisting, and 
the $100 due at discharge, making a total of $212 for a private. 
This seemed a large sum for an enlisted man, yet it would pay a 
good mechanic for only about three months' work. 

In the afternoon the second squad of nine veteran volunteers 
(the reenlisted men) left for Brandy Station on their way home on a 
thirty-five days' furlough. They were Sergt. Anthony B. Horton, 
Private Benjamin A. Burlingame (who had just returned from a ten 
days' furlough) Willliam Dennis, Solomon A. Haskell, William J. 
Kenyon, William Maxcy, David H. Phetteplace, Charles G. Sprague, 
and Robert Wilkinson. 

On the 19th, Lieut. William S. Perrin, having reenlisted, left for 
Rhode Island on a thirty-five days' furlough as a veteran officer. 

On the 22d, privates Michael Butterfield and John Doyle having 
reenlisted were returned to their regiments as veteran volunteers, 
and three of our men returned from the hospital. 

For a number of days details of men from the different batteries 
and regiments had been very busy erecting a large building at the 
headquarters of the Second Corps, for the purpose of holding a 
grand military ball. The loggers and lumbermen in the western 
and down-east regiments were in their glory, and the forests, which 
here abounded, were soon laid low by the wielding of their axes. 
The saw-mill on Mountain Run was run clay and night, sawing logs 
into joists and boards for the building, which, when finished, cov- 
ered an area of two hundred by one hundred feet, with a saloon fifty 
feet wide extending the entire length of one side of the building. 
The floor and sides were of lumber, while the roof was covered with 
tarpaulins (canvas) furnished by the batteries and quartermaster's 
department of the corps. Tarpaulins are used by the batteries to 
cover the pieces, caissons, and harnesses in stormy weather. On 
the 19th of February the building was about completed, and the 



266 history of battery b, [March, 

work of draping the inside with flags, banners, and festoons of 
streamers was begun. Across one end of the building a platform 
was erected, on either side of which was mounted a brass light 
twelve-pounder Napoleon, gun. These pieces belonged to the left 
section of Battery B to whom due honor was given, and Sergeants 
Rhodes and Walker superintended the placing of their pieces in po- 
sition upon the platform. 

The ball occurred on the evening of the 22d of Feburary, 1863, 
and was spoken of as a grand affair. A number of ladies from 
Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York attended. 
Senator William Sprague and wife, of Rhode Island, were also pres- 
ent, and were the guests of Capt. John G. Hazard at Battery B's 
headquarters. The building was allowed to remain undisturbed for 
sometime, and a number of vocal and musical entertaiments were 
given by men of the corps. Subsequently the building was stripped 
and the tarpaulins, flags, and other draperies were returned to their 
owners. 

February 24th. First Lieut. T. Fred. Brown left Battery B on 
detached service, having been promoted to adjutant of the First 
Regiment Rhode Island Light Artillery, commanded by Col. Charles 
H. Tompkins. 

On the 27th, the Second Corps moved down to Ely's Ford, on the 
Rapidan, in support of General Kilpatrick's cavalry which was 
starting on a raid toward Richmond. Battery B was not ordered to 
go with the corps, and consequently remained in camp. 

On the 29th, the muster rolls were made out for January and Feb- 
ruary. 

March 1st. Warm and rainy. All is quiet along the Rapidan. 
Three more men went home on a thirty-five days' furlough as vet- 
eran volunteers : Patrick Brady, Patrick Ford, and James Mc- 
Gunnigle. 

On the 11th, Second Lieut. Willard B. Pierce returned to the bat- 
tery from Artillery Brigade headquarters. 

On the 12th, Capt. John G. Hazard and Corp. C. L. Macomber 
went to Washington, and the latter proceeded to Rhode Island on 
recruiting service. Lieut. Charles A. Brown was left in command 
of the battery. 

On the 15th, the battery dismounted the pieces, and for three days 
we were busy painting the gun carriages and caissons a very dark 
sreen. 



1864.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 267 

On the 18th, about noon, the battery was ordered to report im- 
mediately at headquarters for light marching. The pieces were 
quickly mounted, and hitching up we moved out of camp reporting 
at headquarters, after which the battery was ordered back to camp 
to await further orders. This proved to be a bluff on the battery 
for having its pieces dismounted so long. The order had been 
issued by Col. J. C. Tidball, of the United States Regulars, and 
now commanding the Artillery Brigade of the Second Corps. 

On the 19th, the battery, with the other batteries of the corps, 
Avent up to headquarters for target practice. On the plains across 
a ravine, at the northwest of corps headquarters, were old shelter 
tents set up, and at these the batteries fired shot, shell, and spherical 
case ; firing in rotation so as to note the effect of each. At the 
close of the practice there were no tents standing and many were 
torn in shreds. Battery B fired about twenty rounds to each piece, 
and was credited with making the best shots with shell and spherical 
case. 

On the 22d, our paymaster put in his appearance and we were paid 
for the months of January and February. 

On the 23d, we experienced a very severe snow storm — the worst 
we had ever witnessed in Virginia. On the second day after the 
storm it rained, and there was mud, mud, mud, everywhere. 

On the 25th, Lieut. William S. Perrin returned to duty from 
Rhode Island where he had been on a furlough. 

On the 27th, Corporal Macomber returned from Rhode Island 
with a number of recruits, but only one (Getz Leonard) for Bat- 
tery B. 

On the 29th, the detached men of the One Hundred and Fortieth 
Pennsylvania regiment, who were serving with our battery, were 
ordered to report to Battery C, First Pennsylvania Artillery, and 
the detached men serving in that battery came to Battery B to take 
their places. The detached men received from Battery C, First Penn- 
sylvania Artillery, were : Peter Barry, Daniel Burch, Sidney Case, 
Dennis Daily, Henry Mason, Samuel Mason, James McCormick, 
Thomas McCormick, John Monroe, Ranford Riggs, Patrick AVar- 
don, John Williams, and Josiah Williston. 

April 1st. The army had been reorganized to lessen the number 
of corps, while the Artillery Brigade of the Second Corps had been 
increased and was comprised of Battery K, Fourth United States ; 
Battery C, Fifth United States; Tenth Massachusetts Independent 



268 HISTORY OP BATTERY B, [April, 

Battery ; Batteries A and B, First Rhode Island Light Artillery ; 
Battery B, First New Jersey ; Battery G, First New York ; Twelfth 
New York Independent Battery ; Battery F, First Pennsylvania ; 
Sixth Maine Battery, and First Battalion (two companies) of the 
Fourth New York Heavy Artillery ; Col. J. C. Tidball, United 
States Army, commanding the brigade. 

On the 7th, Capt. John G. Hazard was promoted to major, and 
assigned to duty at Artillery Brigade headquarters. 

On the 11th, Second Lieut. Willard B. Pierce resigned and left 
for Washington. In the afternoon the men who were absent on 
furloughs returned. 

During the afternoon of the 12th we had mounted inspection by 
Col. J. C. Tidball. The battery was under the command of Lieut. 
W. S. Perrin, with only one other officer, Second Lieut. Charles A. 
Brown, present. The rest of our officers had been promoted and 
assigned to other positions, or had resigned and left the service. 
There was a total of 141 enlisted men, forty-five of whom were de- 
tached from the infantry. There were eighteen men serving on ex- 
tra duty, some being at Artillery Brigade headquarters. 

On the 13th of April Lieut. T. Fred. Brown, having been promoted 
to captain and assigned to Battery B, First Rhode Island Light Artil- 
lery, returned and assumed command. 

On the 14th, the monotony of camp life was interrupted by a most 
pleasant affair not soon to be forgotten ; the men of Battery B desir- 
ous of manifesting their esteem and regard for their late first lieuten- 
ant, now their captain T. Fred. Brown, presented him with a 
magnificent and costly sabre and belt. About three o'clock p. m. 
the men assembled in line in front of the officers' quarters, while at 
the right of line was the regimental band of the Fourth New York 
Heavy Artillery playing an overture worthy of its reputation. By 
request Captain Brown stepped in front of his command, while gath- 
ered at his rear were a large number of officers from headquarters, 
among whom were Col. C. H. Tompkins and Lieut. -Col. J. Albert 
Monroe ; officers of batteries A and B were also present. 

Capt. H. B. Goddard, of Col. J. C. Tidball's staff, made the pre- 
sentation with the following speech : 

Captain Brown: A pleasing task falls to my lot to-day, sir, in at- 
tempting to express, in behalf of the non-commissioned officers and men 
of Battery B, some indication of their feelings towards yourself; al- 




Capt. T. Fred. Brown. 



1864.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 269 

though I have not the honor of being a member of the famous First 
Rhode Island Light Artillery, yet I have had the pleasure of knowing 
you, and knowing this and other batteries of your regiment. Accord- 
ingly, I deem it a high honor to be allowed to express the feelings of the 
men of one of the most famous batteries that " Little Rhody " ever gave 
to her country, towards as brave an officer and true a gentleman as ever 
drew a sabre in the great cause of the Union. Your history, sir, is 
known to all of us. We know how the " Little Corporal" of June, 1861, 
has worked his way up, winning his sergeant's stripes, after the First 
Bull Run, by attention to his duties all through the long tedious winter 
of 1861 and '62, when we were just beginning to discover that a soldier's 
life was not altogether a holiday affair. We know how he fought his 
way up through the weary mud-marches, and hard fights of the Penin- 
sula Campaign. Worthily he won his second lieutenant's straps just be- 
fore the short, swift, but glorious First Maryland Campaign with Antie- 
tam's blood won field as its noble reward. Then came the fearful assault 
on Fredericksburg, where this battery won lasting laurels, and the enco- 
miums of the corps commander, for devoted gallantry in one of the most 
exposed positions in which a battery was ever placed. The bar of a first 
lieutenant was a fitting reward to you for that hard fight. During last 
year's campaign this battery was commanded by you at the Second 
Fredericksburg, or Marye's Heights, and at Gettysburg " the grandest 
of them all," where you were stricken from your horse by a rebel bullet, 
proving conclusively that in your country's cause limb nor life were 
held too dear to give. Right gladly did the men of this command ascer- 
tain that your wound, though severe, was not dangerous, and most happy 
were they all to see you resume command, which you did in time to lead 
them into the pretty little victory at Bristoe, where again your battery 
won laurels. Again, at Mine Run, the conduct of the "ever ready" 
battery was above fear and above reproach. Such a record is alike glo- 
rious to yourself and to the men now gathered about you. During all 
this period, sir, you have been singularly fortunate in the difficult task 
of performing your duties to the entire satisfaction of your superiors, at 
the same time winning the love and respect of your men. 

Now, after receiving a third promotion as adjutant of your regiment, 
you return to us with the crowning wish of your and our hearts grati- 
fied, by your commission as captain of your own best-loved battery, the 
non-commissioned officers and men of its organization deem it a fitting 
opportunity to present a token of their esteem. In their behalf I pre- 
present you this sword and belt. Accept them, sir, as a fitting tribute 
from gallant men to a gallant officer." 

The captain maintaining his reputation for coolness and self-pos- 
session replied earnestly and gracefully as follows : 

"Men of Battery B: Two months ago, if made the recipient of 
this generous and elegant token of your esteem, I could only have ex- 
pressed my gratitude by reiterating again and again my attachment to 



270 HISTORY- OF BATTERY B, [April, 

the men before me and to the memory of those who ever stood shoulder 
to shoulder with you, and who are now sleeping on every battle-field. 
But to-day it is far different. I can thank you far better than by words. 
My chief desire (that I expressed to you two months ago on my depart- 
ure) has been granted, to be with you in the coming campaign. And my 
thanks shall be expressed in the making of every effort to prepare our- 
selves for the work before us, and making them in the hope of drawing 
this sabre in some crowning triumph — some second Gettysburg." 

Three rousing cheers were given for Captain Brown, and the men 
broke ranks to drink his health, and listen to the band which played 
several pieces finely. The sabre was a beautiful piece of workman- 
ship and did credit to the taste of the committee, Sergeants Charles 
H. Adams and Charles A. Libbey, Corporals Aborn W. Carter and 
Charles A. Rider, and Private Stephen Collins, who were entrusted 
with its selection. The blade was beautifully ornamented with 
emblematic designs raised upon the steel, while upon the scabbard 
was the Goddess of Liberty artistically engraved. The grip was 
of ivory on which was raised the artillery emblem of cross cannons 
and equipments, and the hilt was surmounted by a beautiful little 
gold eagle, with wings spread. Upon the scabbard w r as a silver 
plate on which was inscribed : " Presented to First Lieut. T. Fred. 
Brown by the members of Battery B, First Regiment Rhode Island 
Light Artillery, at Stevensburg, Va., April 1864.* 

It was a most pleasant and successful affair, and will be remem- 
bered by those present as one of the most pleasing events in their 
military service. 

April 17th. Lieut. C. A. Brown, and a detail of men, went to 
Brandy Station and returned with two new light twelve-pounder Na- 
poleon guns and caissons complete. On the 18th the pieces and 
caissons were inspected, the equipments were found complete and the 
chests packed with ammunition. Two gun detachments were organ- 
ized with Sergt. Charles H. Adams and Corp. C. W. Wood (acting 
sergeant) as sergeants of the new pieces. 

On the 19th, the battery went up to headquarters for target prac- 
tice. In the afternoon several detached men were received from the 
Fourth New York Heavy Artillery. 

On the 20th, the artillery brigade of the Second Corps under com- 
mand of Major John G-. Hazard, who had returned from Rhode 

* At the time the sabre was ordered it was not known to the men that Lieutenant 
Brown was to be made captain of the battery. 



1864.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 271 

Island where he had been on recruiting service for the artillery, was 
reviewed by Major-General Hancock. 

On the 21st, the battery received another squad of recruits for 
duty from Battery G, First Pennsylvania. The afternoon was spent 
in preparing for corps review. 

April 22d. Pleasant and warm. Reveille at sunrise, and from 
that time until nine o'clock a. m. the men were busy with the duties 
of the day. At the above hour Battery B hitched up and left camp 
for the plains near headquarters, and arriving there it took position 
in line of the artillery brigade to the right of the infantry of the 
corps. For the first time since the consolidation and the reinforce- 
ment by the two veteran divisions of the ex-Third Corps, assigned 
to the Second, the troops were brought together. No change of 
camps was deemed advisable at the time of consolidation, and conse- 
quently the troops, although under the same command, found little 
more opportunity to form acquaintances than when they were in dif- 
ferent corps. 

The day was splendid, the first bright and sunny one after many 
days of storm and mud. The plain (the ground selected for the re- 
view) was so admirably adapted that, from the position of the re- 
viewing stand, the eye could take in the whole corps without effort. 
The troops were arranged in four lines directly in front of the stand, 
the divisions being placed in their numerical order : General Bar- 
low's division, the first; General Gibbon's division, the second; 
General Birney's division, the third ; General Mott's division, the 
fourth. 

The artillery brigade was formed on the right flank of and per- 
pendicular to the infantry ; the troops thus formed two sides of a 
square. The brilliant assemblage of spectators combined to make 
this the finest corps review ever seen in the Army of the Potomac. 

Just before noon the reviewing officer, Lieut. -Gen. U. S. Grant, 
accompanied by his personal staff mounted the "stand," and took 
position in front while the bands played " Hail to the Chief." 
Among the spectators were Generals Meade, Humphreys, Williams, 
Hunt, and many from army headquarters. Generals Sedgwick and 
"Warren commanders of the Sixth and Fifth Corps were also present. 
More than twenty-five thousand men actually marched by in review, 
and their appearance and bearing were brilliant in the extreme, 
while the scene was most exhilarating and the entire review admirably 
conducted. It proved a day of compliments, and none received more 



272 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [April, 

than the artillery of which Maj. John G. Hazard was chief. Two 
Rhode Island batteries A and B participated in the event, and in the 
judgment of many were not behind those longer in service (the 
United States batteries) regarding the details of their movements and 
fine appearance. Battery B returned to camp late in the afternoon 
hungry and very much fatigued, but nevertheless well satisfied with 
the work of the day. 

The 23d was pleasant and warm. At ten a. m. had battery in- 
spection by Captain Brown, and subsequently stretched the picket rope 
to the left of the quarters so as to give the horses a change of ground. 
The appearance of things in general indicated that the battery would 
soon move ; and, sure enough, on the 26th at eleven o'clock a. m. 
the battery broke camp, packed up, and moved to Stevensburg within 
a quarter of a mile of corps headquarters, and going into park biv- 
ouacked. 

On the 28th, moved our park about three hundred yards to the 
east on a knoll, and went into camp. In the afternoon there was a 
horse race at corps headquarters witnessed by a number of men in 
the battery, they having been granted passes to go and see it. Dur- 
ing the past two months there were several races held on the plains 
near headquarters, and much interest was manifested in them ; they 
served to determine which of the generals had the fastest horse, the 
division or brigade commanders. 




Private Alfred G. Gardner. 



1864.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 273 



CHAPTER XX. 



GENERAL GRANT'S CAMPAIGN— FROM THE WILDER- 
NESS TO COLD HARBOR. 

SUNDAY, May 1st. Pleasant and warm. Tiie battery had 
mounted inspection and the usual Sunday morning camp in- 
spection by Captain Brown, followed by the granting of 
passes to those who made the best appearance in dress, and an- 
swered readily the questions asked by the inspecting officer. 

The 2d was passed in drill at the manual of the piece. Late in 
the afternoon Captain Brown received marching orders, and the cooks 
were instructed to prepare and cook three days' rations of beef. 

On the morning of the 3d, the caissons were parked and five days' 
rations of grain, with hard- tack, coffee, and sugar were strapped on 
the chests, and three days' rations were issued to each man to be 
carried in his haversack. At five o'clock p. m., tents were struck 
and packed, and the battery hitched up awaiting orders. On the eve 
of moving the battery received two additional officers, namely : 
First Lieut. James E. Chace, promoted from second lieutenant of 
Battery G, Rhode Isand ; and Second Lieut. Gideon Spencer, pro- 
moted from sergeant of Battery D, Rhode Island. Thus Battery B 
was to start on the coming campaign fully officered, viz. : Capt. T. 
Fred. Brown, commanding; First Lieut. William S. Perrin in com- 
mand of first or right section ; First Lieut. James E. Chace in com- 
mand of the third or left section ; Second Lieut. Charles A. Brown 
in command of the second or centre section and Second Lieut. Gid- 
eon Spencer in command of battery train consisting of battery wagon, 
forge, army wagons (for baggage and forage), and spare horses. 
The total number of men present and on detached service at this 
u 



274 HISTOSY OF BATTERY B, [May, 

time was 174, all well clothed and equipped for the coming cam- 
paign. 

In the movement of the army now about to be made, it was gen- 
erally known that it would be against General Lee's army, and not 
" On to Richmond," as had usually been the cry when the Army of 
the Potomac was about to move. To reach the field of operation the 
Second Corps, to which Battery B was attached, had by far the long- 
est distance to traverse as it was to make a crossing at Ely's Ford, 
while the other corps were to cross at Culpeper Mine Ford and the 
Germania Ford ; then all were to move in the direction of the Con- 
federate army. 

The first ti"oops to move and resume the line of march were those 
of the Second Corps. In the afternoon of the 3d, the infantry stood 
massed on the road leading from Stevensburg to Richardsville, and, 
at half-past seven o'clock p. m., the order was given: "Forward, 
march !" and tramp, tramp the boys went marching on, all in good 
spirits and eager for the fray. 

At eight o'clock p. M., Battery B broke camp, and moving with 
the First Division passed corps headquarters, and turning to the left 
marched all night. A halt was made at sunrise and Captain Brown 
received orders to park on the right of the road ; then the horses 
were fed, and ample time was given for the men to make coffee. 
At seven o'clock a. m., of the 4th, the battery resumed the march 
to the river, and at eight o'clock we crossed the Rapidan at Ely's 
Ford by fording the river. After going a short distance we were 
forced to halt for an hour on account of the road being so crowded 
with troops and trains. At noon we arrived at Chancellorsville 
where we were ordered into position in battery with the First Di- 
vision, which had been formed in line of battle to await the com- 
ing up of the rest of the corps. 

The position occupied by the battery was on the same ground held 
by the Fifth Maine Battery on the 3d of May, 1863, at the battle of 
Chancellorsville. The ground was still strewn with the wreckage of 
that carnage in the form of torn knapsacks, haversacks, battered 
canteens and broken muskets. On this field Battery B bivouacked 
for the night. 

On the morning of the 5th, the battery, with the division, took an 
early start, for at suurise we were on the road moving south. 
With Lieutenant Perrin in command, the first section, with the fourth 
brigade, acted as rear guard. At the cross roads, called Three Fur- 




GORDON 
♦♦ft 



Wilderness, May 5-8, 1864-. 



1864.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLKRY. 275 

naces, the battery was ordered into position on a knoll, to the left 
of the road, where we waited for an hour until Captain Brown was 
ordered to advance further to the front. Giving orders to limber to 
the front he led the battery along a very narrow road to the vicinity 
of Todd's Tavern where we halted. Upon our arrival firing was 
heard back to the right, and the division received orders to turn 
back and support those engaged. The battery, in countermarching, 
moved very slowly along the narrow road until the Brock road was 
reached, when it proceeded at a trot led by Colonel Tidhall, and, at 
five o'clock p. m., took position on a ridge to the left of the road in 
rear of our main line of battle. Orders were immediately given to 
prepare for action, and we shelled the woods in our front for about 
half an hour. Captain Brown received orders to advance the bat- 
tery still further to the left and front, and take position in the midst 
of some small scrub pines. With no little difficulty we placed the 
pieces in battery, and then fired a few round of shot in the direction 
of the enemy's lines located within the woods. The battery re- 
mained in position all night, the men bivouacking beside the pieces. 
This place was rightly named "The Wilderness," with its uneven 
ground and heavily wooded ravines and ridges, which, together with 
its tangled thickets of pines, cedars, and scrub oaks, greatly hindered 
the movements of the artillery, but nevertheless a number of batteries, 
including Battery B, were placed in good positions and did excellent 
service. The appalling rattle of musketry, the roar of the artillery, 
the yells of the rebels, and the cheering of our own men were con- 
stantly heard. At times our men, when firing, could not see the 
array of the enemy's lines less than fifty yards distant. The line 
of fire grew longer and longer, extending to right and left, proving 
that one of the fiercest battles of history had begun amid dense 
woods where the foemen could not see one another, where colonels 
could not see the whole of their regiments, and where captains 
could not see the left of their companies. Both armies thus sud- 
denly brought into collision fought a desperate battle until night 
came and forced a halt in the strife. Neither side had gained any 
decided advantage, though the enemy (Hill's corps) had been 
driven some distance backward, and hundreds on either side had 
fallen. Many of those surviving had not yet seen the enemy. 

The battery's casualties during the Battle of the Wilderness, on 
May 5th, were five men wounded : Corp. Charles B. Worthington ; 
Privates Levi J. Cornell, Francis Slaiger, Peter Barry, and Dennis 



276 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [May, 

Dailey ; the last two were detached men. Three horses were disa- 
bled for further service. 

At early dawn on the morning of the 6th, the battery was further 
advanced to the right and front, and took a position overlooking an 
unfinished railroad bed. At intervals during the forenoon we shelled 
the woods on our right front. In the afternoon the firing which had 
been going on down on the right extended up to the left, and, at about 
four p. m., broke out with renewed vigor. Captain Brown subse- 
quently ordered the right half of the battery to change front, and it 
was turned to the west at right angles with the main line, giving us 
the impression that the enemy had broken through in that direction. 

The direct cause, however, was the advance of the enemy in force 
along the Orange Plank road, while the Second Corps troops were 
being replenished with ammunition, causing part of the line to fall 
back. It was a most critical moment, particularly on account of the 
generally strained and tried condition of our troops, rather than from 
the actual number of the enemy who had thus gained an entrance ; 
but startling as was the exigency it was promptly met. Carroll's 
brigade lay in reserve at the right of the Plank road, and this was 
sent forward. Putting his brigade into motion General Carroll, at 
the head of the column with bandaged arm, dashed across the road, 
and coming to a " front" charged forward encountering the exultant 
Confederates in the very moment of their triumph, thus averting the 
impending danger. The enemy was forced to retire to the woods, 
and firing soon died down along the left of the line. 

The only part taken by Battery B was to throw a few shells into 
the woods at the retreating foe, and though the tangled forest had 
been alive with flying missiles and the whistling of the bullets through 
the air had been incessant we had no casualties. Many of those 
falling in the fight were still lying between the lines in the woods, 
which to our horror had taken fire in many places in front of the 
Brock road, and consequently no relief could be given to many who 
perished in the flames. 

At dusk the battery was ordered to bivouac in the breastworks, 
but the men obtained little sleep on account of the picket firing, and 
being aroused several times to prepare for action though not en- 
gaging. 

All day of the 7th, we remained quietly in position, though at inter- 
vals there was heavy skirmish firing in our front. At sunset the 
battery was withdrawn from the front, and went into park on the 



1864.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 277 

north side of the Brock road bivouacking for the night, while the 
horses remained in harness. The tumult made by the Fifth Corps, 
as they marched down to the left on a flank movement, was so great 
that sleep was next to an impossibility. 

At eight A. m. on the 8th, the battery marched to Todd's Tavern 
and halted to feed the horses, but before they could eat their grain 
we were ordered to the front in line of battle. The place we were 
to occupy was covered with pine trees which had to be cut down be- 
fore the pieces could be placed in position ; after getting in battery 
we opened on the enemy's line with shot and shell at a distance of 
1,300 yards. A rebel battery answered sending shell all around us, 
which cut off* the tops of the trees in our front giving us a better 
view of their lines, and although their shot and pieces of shell came 
remarkably close no one was wounded. The men fortified their 
position and bivouacked for the night. At dusk our teamsters, Bob 
Niles and Welk Collins came up with forage and rations which were 
issued to the battery. The Second Corps at this time was holding 
the Catlmrpin road against any attempt of the enemy to cut the roads, 
by which the ti'oops and trains were moving down to the left toward 
Fredericksburg, the place for the base of General Grant's supplies. 

On the 9th, at early dawn, the battery was ordered to the rear, 
where the horses were fed and groomed while the men made coffee, 
and ate a hearty breakfast of fried salt pork and hard-tack washed 
down with hot coffee. In a short time Captain Brown received or- 
ders to move to the front again, and to send a section with the bearer 
of the order. By Captain Brown's orders Lieutenant Spencer took 
the centre section and went with the staff officer. The other sec- 
tions were then ordered to hitch up and were sent to the right and 
front, where they were placed in position in the breastworks thrown 
up by the First Division (General Barlow's) where we remained 
until noon. 

The centre section under Lieutenant Spencer was taken by the 
staff officer to a deep ravine, at the head of which the pieces were 
placed in position. The nature of the surroundings were such that, 
had the enemy made a charge at this point, there were grave 
doubts in the lieutenant's mind whether the guns could have been 
withdrawn, owing to a steep incline at his rear while the sides of the 
ravine were covered with low shrubs. Fortunately there was no at- 
tack made by the enemy at this place. 

At noon the division (the First) was withdrawn and ordered down 



278 HISTORY .OF BATTERY B, [May, 

to the left. The battery left the breastworks, and, pulling out into 
the road, where the second section soon joined it, followed the 
division marching south to, and beyond the position occupied by the 
Second Division under General Gibbon the day before. Hei'e three 
divisions of the Second Corps were drawn up in line on high ground 
overlooking the Po River. 

While Battery B was getting into position in line, a wagon train of 
the enemy was seen passing along beside the woods on the opposite 
side of the river, and within easy range of our ten-pound rifle guns. 
Battery A, First Rhode Island, which with the troops (Brooke's 
brigade of Barlow's division) had been sent forward toward the 
river was ordered into position and soon opened fire upon the train. 
The first few shots created a wild stampede among the non-bellige- 
rents, and sent the wagons flying along the road toward the cover of 
the woods. Troops were ordered across the river to capture the train, 
which would perhaps have been effected if the teamsters had not 
been goaded into a wild flight by the shelling administered to them. 
We were not to have it all our own way, however, for soon a rebel bat- 
tery retaliated, but by the random flight of shot and shell (which 
favored our troops and Battery A) its men seemed as thoroughly 
frightened as the teamsters ; many missiles passed over Battery B 
Avhich was half a mile in rear of Battery A. 

The centre section had opened on the enemy's train with spherical 
case, and had fired but a few rounds when a rebel battery to its left 
across the river opened on it, and a shell bursting at one of the guns- 
killed William Dennis and Ezra L. Fowles, the latter a detached man 
from the Nineteenth Maine regiment. Captain Brown ordered the 
other two sections of the battery down to the support of the centre 
section, and taking position they opened fire on the rebel battery, 
which after firing a few shot limbered up and withdrew out of our 
range. By this time the One Hundred and Forty-fifth Pennsylvania 
regiment had with much difficulty effected a crossing and climbed 
the steep and densely wooded banks overcoming all obstacles with 
energy. A pontoon bridge was soon thrown across the river which 
was about fifty feet wide, and the First Division (General Barlow) 
was soon on the south side. 

About sunset Battery B limbered up, moved down to the river and 
crossed following the division to the left, and advancing about two 
miles halted on rising ground. Here we placed the guns in position 
and bivouacked for the ni^ht. 




Todd's Tavern and Po River, May 8-10, 1864. 



1864.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 279 

May 10th, was pleasant and warm. At sunrise the three divisions 
of the Second Corps were all across the Po River threatening Gen- 
eral Lee's left flank. General Barlow's division was in advance, and 
facing to the east on the Shady Grove Church road near the Block 
House bridge. Battery B was in position on the road facing the 
bridge. 

About eight o'clock a. m. a rebel battery showed itself on our left 
flank, and the third section, under Lieutenant Chase, opened fire upon 
it with spherical case ; as a consequence it soon withdrew from sight 
without answering. About ten o'clock a. m. a column of rebel 
infantry was seen in our front moving to the southwest, upon which 
our battery opened a fire with shot and spherical case, so well di- 
rected that the column was broken in several places. To this a rebel 
battery answered, but its fire was so high and wild that most of its 
shot went over us making our casualties light, only one man being 
slightly wounded. The firing only lasted about ten minutes then all 
was quiet. The battery was subsequently ordered to the right 
where the enemy appeared to be in force, and, after placing the 
pieces in position, we threw up breastworks, working like beavers. 
About two p. m. we were ordered to retreat to the north side of the 
Po which we did without difficulty, crossing the river on the middle 
pontoon bridge, and afterward taking position on high open ground 
about four hundred yards from the river bank. This position was a 
fine one overlooking the valley of the Po, and commanding the ap- 
proaches to and from the place of crossing by which our infantry was 
to recross when it withdrew, which it did in a cool and orderly man- 
ner. All the batteries except Battery A, First Rhode Island, under 
Captain Arnold, had withdrawn and ordered to recross to the north 
side of the Po, and take position along its bank so as to sweep with 
shot and shell the ground over which the enemy must advance in 
following up our men as they retreated. In the existing situation to 
fight seemed as easy as it was imminent, but to retreat with the 
river at our backs and the enemy in full advance in our front was a 
most critical matter, and such the general in command felt it to be. 
The infantry brigades, which had formed the advance line, were 
withdrawn and took position back of their support, while the enemy 
pressed rapidly on with a furious fire of musketry, under which our 
brigades of gallant veterans retired with the utmost coolness reach- 
ing the position assigned them in perfect order. Thus the first step 
in the critical operation was accomplished, and the next was to with- 



280 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [May, 

draw the second line (now the front by the withdrawal of the first) 
to the ridge in front of the bridges. This was rapidly and skillfully 
done while the troops, the moment they were in position, sought to 
protect themselves by throwing up rails and such material as they 
could lay hands upon. 

The enemy, doubtless deeming the withdrawal of our lines a sign 
of fear, pressed forward and fell upon the troops of Brown's and 
Brooke's brigades. The combat now became close and bloody while 
the enemy, flushed with the anticipation of an easy victory, was ap- 
parently determined to crush the small force opposing it, and, rushing 
forward with loud yells, forced its way close up to our line deliver- 
ing a terrible musketry fire as it advanced. Our brave troops resisted 
this onset with an undaunted determination to stand their ground, 
and made the fire along our whole line so continuous and deadly that 
the enemy abandoned its stand, and breaking retreated in wild dis- 
order. 

During this repulse the woods in the rear and right of our troops 
caught fire, and the flames rapidly approached our lines, rendering it 
almost impossible to retain the situation longer. General Barlow di- 
rected Brown and Brooke to abandon their positions and retire, and 
recross to the north side of the Po. The withdrawal was attended 
with extreme difficulty and peril, as the men were nearly enveloped 
in the burning woods while their front was assailed by an overwhelm- 
ing force of the enemy. They displayed wonderful coolness and 
nerve, however, such as was rarely seen or exhibited in the presence 
of dangers so appalling ; indeed, it seemed as if those gallant sol- 
diers were doomed to destruction. The enemy perceiving that our 
lines were again retiring advanced, but was again promptly checked 
by our troops, who then fell back through the burning forest with 
admirable order : though in so doing a large number were killed and 
wounded, while many on both sides perished in the flames. 

In retiring the terrified horses attached to one of the pieces of 
Battery A, First Rhode Island Light Artillery, became unmanage- 
able and dragged their piece between two trees where it became so 
firmly wedged that it could not be moved, and had to be abandoned 
to its fate. This was the first piece of artillery lost by the Second 
Corps in battle. 

The troops after emerging from the woods had to traverse an open 
plain, lying between Shady Grove Church road and the river, which 
was swept by the enemy's artillery stationed on the heights above 



1864.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 281 

the Block House bridge on the east side of the river. As the last 
troops, Miles's brigade, were about to withdraw the enemy opened a 
tremendous artillery and musketry fire, from left and front, across 
this open space directly in front of Miles's troops. Our artillery was 
too numerous and too well placed to allow this to long continue, and, 
the enemy, after having one or two of its limbers or caissons blown 
up, was silenced. The advance of its infantry having been checked 
at the first outbreak of its fire, General Miles took advantage of the 
repulse and withdrew by the bridges, crossing rapidly but in 
perfect order. When the troops were again back on the north side 
of the river Po the pontoons were at once taken up. 

Battery B's position was directly north in line of the middle bridge 
covering the retreat of the infantry, and when our troops began to 
retreat we opened fire with spherical case on the enemy's line which 
was advancing. We fired rapidly but with deliberate aim and good 
effect. Meanwhile the enemy opened upon us with a battery on our 
left flank wounding four men and one horse. The left section then 
turned and delivered a fire upon the foe, but after firing a few rounds in 
the direction of the enemy's battery we ceased firing, and turned our 
fire again on the enemy's infantry which was crowding our troops on 
the ridge south of the bridges. At this time Sergeant Rhodes observed 
that the shots from his piece (the sixth gun) were going away to the 
right toward our own troops ; upon making an examination he dis- 
covered that the iron axle was broken, having been hit with shot 
or shell in the middle where the bolt passed through to fasten it to 
the wooden stock. This caused the middle, the axle now being in 
two pieces, to settle down from the stock bringing the top of the 
wheels nearer together, and causing the gun carriage to lean to the 
right, throwing the windage too much to the left side of the shot 
sending them to the right, and not in the direction aimed. Sergeant 
Rhodes ordered his gunner to cease firing, and reported his piece as 
disabled to chief of section Lieutenant Chace. Captain Brown upon 
learning of the accident ordered Lieutenant Spencer, who had just 
come upon the field, to have the piece taken to the rear. In charge 
of Sergeant Rhodes it was withdrawn from the line of battle, and 
under direction of Lieutenant Spencer taken to the rear where the bat- 
tery train was parked. The blacksmith Joseph B. Place was ordered 
to try and weld the axle, but before he had time to build a fire in the 
forge the train received orders to move, and the attempt to weld the 
axle was abandoned. The broken axle was strapped up and the gun 
moved alonjr with the train. 



282 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [May, 

Battery B remained in position until after the taking up of the 
pontoons when it was ordered to withdraw and move to the rear. 
Notwithstanding that the battery had been under fire all day the casu- 
alties were light, one horse being killed and four men slightly 
wounded. The battery was again ordered into position on a hill 
about half a mile from the river, near the road which passed to the 
left of the first position. On getting into battery it opened fire, 
throwing a ^e\v shell into the woods across the river. After a few 
rounds were thrown we received orders to cease, and bivouacked in 
this position for the night. 

Just after midnight Ave were routed up and ordered to build breast- 
works in front of the pieces, as it was expected that the enemy would 
try to cross the river, it being reported that a large force was massed 
on the south side of the Po. By daylight we had our breastworks 
finished and then we laid down to get a little rest if possible. 

On the morning of the 11th, the horses which had remained in 
harness all night were unhitched, unharnessed, taken to water, 
fed, and groomed. The pieces remained at the breastworks, and 
during the day the cannoneers occasionally sent the compliments of 
Battery B, in the shape of solid shot, to the enemy who could 
plainly be seen throwing up earthworks on the south side of the Po 
River. Our compliments were not returned. At night the men biv- 
ouacked in the breastworks under arms. At eleven o'clock p. m. we 
were routed up and withdrawing from the front line marched to near 
corps headquarters, where we halted until three o'clock on the morn- 
ing of the 12th, when we moved east to the left of the line, and at 
daylight took position in rear of Brooke's brigade (General Barlow's 
division, Second Corps) south of Brown's house'. There was a 
clearing here from three to four hundred yards wide and extended to 
the left toward the Landrum house, thence curving to the right 
toward the earthworks now occupied by the enemy, and our next 
point of attack. The rest of the ground was thickly wooded and a 
heavy fog was spread over the scene. Just about sunrise the troops 
began to move forward to the charge, the First and Third Divisions, 
General Barlow's and Birney's leading, supported by the Second 
Division, General Gibbon. 

General Birney's troops met some difficult ground in their advance, 
but pushed on with superhuman exertions and again came up abreast 
of the First Division. On reaching the Landrum house the ene- 
my's picket reserve opened fire on the left flank of General Barlow's 



1864.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 283 

column which was swiftly passing by. This fire our troops disdained 
to notice, but continued moving steadily forward. As soon as the 
curve in the clearing was reached, and the troops saw the red earth 
of the enemy's line they (General Barlow's men) broke into a wild 
cheer, and starting on the double-quick rushed against the works. 
Tearing away the abattis the troops sprang over the intrenchments, 
shooting, bayoneting, and beating down those who opposed them. 
Almost at the same time General Birney's troops entered the works 
on his side making the charge a success, and the salient was won. 
Crazed with excitement and success the men could not be restrained, 
but followed the flying enemy until its second line of works was 
reached. Here the now disorganized mass of Birney's and Bar- 
low's troops was brought to a stand by the resolute front of the ene- 
my's reserve. As soon as the enemy's line had been carried Gen- 
eral Hancock ordered up the artillery, and Battery B on a double- 
quick went trotting to the front as fast as the nature of the ground 
would permit, and, taking position in battery, within three hundred 
yards of the captured works, opened on the flying enemy with shot 
and spherical case shell, firing over the heads of our pursuing troops 
into the space traversed by the rebels. Rain was falling in torrents, 
and clouds of smoke hung over the scene obscuring the surrounding 
country from view. 

Thus far the attack had been a grand success, but on account of 
the failure of connection, and the delay in the arrival of reenforce- 
ments (caused by the rain, mud, and smoke) our men were forced 
back to the first line of earthworks. Everything that General Han- 
cock and his commanders could do to prepare for a new advance was 
done. The reserve division was ordered to a man to the captured 
works, and the leading brigades, broken by the fury of the assault, 
were assembled as well as possible under the furious fire now poured 
in from the enemy's second line. The Sixth Corps coming up had 
taken position on the right of the Second, occupying the line to the 
southwest. The troops were at once set to work preparing the cap- 
tured intrenchments for use against those who had constructed them. 
The fortifications at this point were elaborately constructed of heavy 
timber banked with earth to the heighth of nearly four feet, above 
which was placed what was known as a head log, raised just high 
enough to enable the muskets to be inserted between it and the lower 
work. Pointed logs formed an abattis, in front of which was a deep 
ditch. The work of changing the front of the breastworks was soon 



284 HISTORY OF BATTEHY B, [May, 

made and there was not a moment to spare, for into that hloody space 
were advancing hundreds of stout soldiers desperately determined to 
retrieve their defeat of the morning. 

During the successive encounters all those troops who had crossed 
over the breastworks into the space enclosed by the salient, had been 
driven out, and the Second Corps now held only the outer side of the 
intrenchments which they had captured in the assault. The Sixth 
which had gained the enemy's works at the right of the Second Corps, 
opened a terrible fire of musketry into the space traversed by the 
enemy, and the conflict became the closest and fiercest of the assault. 
The enemy was determined to recover its intrenchments at what- 
ever cost, and for nearly a mile, amid a cold drenching rain, the com- 
batants were literally struggling across the breastworks, firing di- 
rectly into each other's faces, while bayonet thrusts were given over 
the intrenchments, and the men even grappled witli each other across 
the piles of logs, the strongest pulling his antagonist over the work 
to the victor's side to be carried to the rear as prisoner. The con- 
test had settled down to a struggle for the recovery of the apex of 
the salient between the east and west angle. If any comparison can 
be made between the sections involved in that desperate contest, the 
fiercest and deadliest fighting took place at the west angle ever after- 
ward known as "The Bloody Angle." As General Grant was 
preparing for an assault at different parts of the line with the corps 
of Generals Burnside and Warren, General Meade's order was to 
" Tell Hancock to hold on." And Hancock held on with his men, 
four ranks deep, keeping their furious assailants at bay and from re- 
taking their lost line. He even ordered artillery up to the intrench- 
ments (a section of Battery C, Fifth United States, and one of Bat- 
tery B, First Rhode Island Light Artillery) and, though the muzzles 
protruded into the very faces of the charging enemy, the begrimed 
cannoneers continued to pour canister into the woods and over the 
open ground on the west of the McCool house. This was, I 
believe, the first if not the only instance in the history of the war, 
where artillery charged on breastworks. 

After the capture of the Confederate works Battery B was ordered 
to the front, and, taking position just under a hill among small pine 
trees, to the left of those already mentioned, opened fire with spher- 
ical case. Of course we could not see the enemy's line, but we el- 
evated our pieces so as to clear our own infantry. While the bat- 
tery was thus engaged a staff officer rode up to Capt. T. Fred. 




Bloody Angle at Spottsylvania May 12, 1864. 



1864.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 285 

Brown and engaged in conversation. Captain Brown nodded and 
ordered the battery to cease firing. Then turning to Lieut. Charles 
A. Brown he ordered him to advance with his section. The lieu- 
tenant then gave the command : "At-teu-tion ! — drivers mount — 
limber to the front — cannoneers mount — caissons rear — forward — 
trot — march ! " and away they went, up hill and down, to the very 
earthworks, and wheeling into position commenced firing canister 
at the flying enemy as it left its intrenchments. Being some dis- 
tance in front of our infantry, it was a matter of fact that artillery 
at short range could not live long under such a fire as the enemy 
was pouring in upon it. The cannoneers went down in short order, 
but the pieces did not cease sending their compliments to the rebels 
until the limber chests were empty of ammunition. The effect of 
our canister and spherical case upon the enemy was terrible, as it 
was evidently trying to strengthen its first line from its second when 
our pieces opened fire on it, and one can imagine the execution at 
such short range. 

The battle was now at white heat, and to our right was one con- 
tinual roar of musketry. The rain continued to fall, and clouds of 
smoke hung over the scene. Like leeches our infantry stuck to the 
earthworks, determined by its fire to keep the enemy from rising up, 
but as it began to shrink in numbers it backed off from the works, 
though still keeping up a fusilade ; soon, however, it closed up its 
shattered ranks, and being reenforced settled down again to its task 
of holding the captured line. As the centre section of Battery B 
was being withdrawn from the breastworks some of the horses of 
each team were wounded, thus becoming unmanageable, and can- 
noneers from the right section were sent to their relief, drawing the 
pieces back to the hollow by hand, then, with fresh horses, the sec- 
tion returned to the battery. Leaving the caissons in the hollow 
the battery advanced to the left and front to the breastworks which 
had been turned by our infantry. Upon the trenches, filled with the 
dead and covered with pine boughs and earth, stood our pieces in 
position, sending shot after shot into the enemy's lines in the woods. 

In the afternoon Sergeant Rhodes returned to the battery, and 
was given command of the fourth gun in the centre section, which 
had been under charge of Corporal Wood. As night approached 
the men made shed roofs from the top of the breastworks with poles 
and pine boughs covered with earth, making a very fair protection 
for the cannoneers at the pieces. Those at the limbers dug holes 



286 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [May, 

and made a roof over them of the same material, in which rude 
structures the men bivouacked for the night. The battle lasted all 
daylong and even into the night, for it was not until after twelve 
o'clock midnight, twenty hours after the command of " Forward" 
had been given, that the firing slackened and the rebels, relinquish- 
ing their attempts to retake their lost works, commenced under cover 
of the darkness to construct a new line. So ended this bloody day, 
and those that slept after its tremendous labor and its fierce excite- 
ment had in them, for the time, hardly more of life than the corpses 
that lay around on every side. A chilling rain still fell upon that 
ghastly field. 

May loth. Cold and still raining. At daybreak it was found 
that the rebels had retired from the salient and constructed intrench- 
ments, which cut off entirely that portion of their line our troops 
had captured from them. 

Battery B remained at the breastworks on Laurel Hill all day, but 
did not fire a shot. The enemy's sharpshooters, however, made it 
quite lively and interesting for us, and we were compelled to have 
our wits about us taking care not to expose ourselves needlessly, for 
the zip and ping of the sharpshooter bumble bees flew in all direc- 
tions. At night the men again bivouacked in their earth huts. 

May 14th, showery and cold. The battery withdrew from the 
breastworks and went to the rear, where the caissons were parked, and 
encamped. Here the horses were fed and groomed, while the men 
had a royal good time preparing something for the inner man, con- 
sisting of hot coffee, fried salt pork, and hard tack. Sharp skir- 
mish firing had been going on all the forenoon on the right and front. 
About two p. m. the battery was ordered to hitch up," and the pieces, 
with the caisson limbers going to the right and front, took position 
in battery in the breastworks of the picket line of General Miles's 
brigade. The sharpshooters on both sides were quite busy in our front, 
for between the two lines lay two brass guns, light twelve-pounders, 
both very near our skirmish line. These guns were in the works 
which were captured from the rebels on the 12th, and had been run 
out by our men toward our line, but had been abandoned at the time 
of the fight at the bloody angle, and had since stood there in plain 
view of both lines of skirmishers, though neither side would allow the 
other to approach the guns. The rebels desired to retake them, but 
we also wanted them, and having run them so near to our lines Ave de- 
termined if possible to gain their possession. Battery B was ordered to 



1864.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 287 

open fire on the rebel skirmish line, and sending spherical case into the 
tops of the trees made things very unpleasant for the enemy's sharp- 
shooters. The battery fired from fifteen to twenty rounds to a piece 
in quick succession, causing a cloud of smoke to form between the 
two lines which served to cover our actions from the enemy. Under 
cover of our fire Corp. Josiah McMeekin and Stephen Collins, who 
had volunteered, went out to the rebel guns and attaching prolonges 
to the trails of each, a company of infantry of the Sixty-first New 
York regiment drew them within our lines, the cannoneers of Battery 
B helping to get them over the breastworks. This dangerous en- 
terprise was successfully accomplished amid the loud cheering of the 
brigade. The fruits of our capture were two guns, one limber, and 
two caissons, which by Lieut. W. S. Perrin with drivers of the cais- 
son limbers were taken to the rear near headquarters of Artillery 
Brigade, and Captain Brown returned to camp with the battery. 

Early on the morning of the 15th, the battery was routed out to 
hitch up, and at half-past three o'clock a. m. moved to the left about 
two and a half miles, where it halted for two hours beside the Spott- 
sylvania and Fredericksburg road, near the Ny River, to allow the 
infantry to pass, when it again moved forward to the right of the 
road and went into park bivouacking on Hart's farm near General 
Grant's and army headquarters. The First and Second Division of 
the Second Corps, which came with us, went to the front, while the 
Third Division remained at the breastworks on the right of the Ninth 
Corps. During the day the enemy, with a number of pieces of ar- 
tillery, opened fire on the breastworks evacuated by the Second 
Corps, but did little damage. 

On the 16th, the weather was still cloudy with frequent showers, 
while affairs remained unchanged at the front. Battery B remained 
encamped near headquarters and enjoyed a day's rest. The corps 
to-day received about eight thousand reinforcements from the defenses 
of Washington, comprised of Gen. R. 0. Tyler's Division of Heavy 
Artillery and the Corcoran Legion. 

May 17th. Reveille at sunrise, the weather was pleasant and 
warm. At eight o'clock a. m. the battery broke camp near head- 
quarters, and, moving to a strip of woods on the right went into park, 
while the men bivouacked on a field in front, and the horses were 
picketed in the woods. Our supply wagons came up to camp, and 
fresh rations of coffee, sugar, pork, and hard-tack were issued, also 
boots and clothing to those in need. Orders were received that all 



288 HISTORY OK BATTERY B, [May, 

batteries were to be reduced to four guns on account of the limited 
number of men and horses. Captain Brown turned over to the ord- 
nance department of the corps two pieces, one with the broken axle 
and the other with a damaged trail. The two extra caissons, with 
Corp. C. L. Macomberin charge, were sent to the ammunition train. 

Lieut. Charles A. Brown, in charge of the captured guns with 
those turned in from the batteries, left for Belle Plain where the 
pieces were to be turned over to the ordnance department depot. 
Lieut. Gideon Spencer, by orders, went on detached service with the 
Second Corps ammunition train. 

At noon Captain Brown received marching orders, and by one 
o'clock all tents were struck, everything packed, and the battery 
hitched up ready for a move, with Lieut. W. S. Perrin in command 
of the right section, Lieut. James E. Chace the left section, and 
First Sergt. A. A. Williams in charge of the battery train. 

At three p. m. the battery moved down to the left near the Sixth 
Corps at Clark's Mills, halted and went into park as we supposed for 
the night, but at ten p. M. we were ordered to hitch up, and moved 
back to Hart's farm where we had been encamped on the night of the 
16th. Halting here only a short time we again moved up to the 
right, marching until two o'clock on the morning of the 18th, when 
the battery went into position in the old breastworks on Laurel Hill 
which we had occupied on the 13th. Another attack on the rebel 
line by the Second Corps had been ordered ; the First and Second 
Divisions under Generals Barlow and Gibbon were moved to the Lan- 
drum House, while General Birney was already in position. On mov- 
ing forward at daybreak the enemy was found strongly posted in rifle- 
pits, its front completely covered by heavy fallen pines, while a power- 
ful artillery fire opened upon our advancing column which was promptly 
answered by our batteries. Our assaulting brigades could not pene- 
trate the dense slashings in the face of such severe musketry and 
artillery fire, though they made most gallant efforts and displayed 
great steadiness, scarcely a man going unwounded to the rear. 

The men of General Gibbon's division succeeded in getting pos- 
session of an advanced line of rifle-pits, but were unable to hold them 
long. Becoming satisfied that persistence was useless General Han- 
cock advised a discontinuance of the assaiflt, and General Meade 
thereupon instructed him to withdraw his troops. 

Battery B on taking position had opened a vigorous fire of shot 
aud spherical case on the enemy's works continuing for some twenty 




wcjm 



Lieut. Charles A. Brown. 



1864.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 289 

minutes, then slackened down firing only at intervals during the day. 
In this engagement only one man was wounded, Corp. Stillman H. 
Budlong. The battery remained at the breastworks under fire of the 
enemy's sharpshooters, whose fire was not to be compared with the 
effect of the stench, on our nerves and nostrils, which arose from the 
old battle-field. A large number of the dead were still unburied and 
these, with the bodies which had been washed nearly bare by the rain 
and subsequently exposed to the hot sun, presented a hideous sight, 
making many of the officers and men deathly sick, and tending to 
dishearten rather than to encourage the men. 

At dusk we were relieved to hear the welcome and promptly 
obeyed order : "Attention — drivers mount — limber to the rear by 
piece from the right — forward into line — march — head of column 
to the right !" Battery'B turned its back upon and left those breast- 
works without any regret, marching back to its camp of last night 
near the Fredericksburg road, and going into park bivouacked for the 
night at Clark's Mills. 

May 19th. Reveille at sunrise, cloudy with showers. First Ser- 
geant Williams came up with the battery train and rations were is- 
sued, and at noon the camp was moved into the woods. In the even- 
ing the last squad of veterans who had been at home on a furlough 
returned to duty. At dark the battery was ordered to hitch up and 
the horses were kept harnessed all night. 

On the 20th, reveille at four a. m., pleasant and warm. After the 
usual camp duties three days' rations were issued to be carried in 
the haversacks. At nine o'clock the battery received its mail, and 
nearly every one had a letter, some receiving three or four. Two 
got the lion's share, one receiving six and the other nine. The mail 
was a large one, it being the first received by the battery since leav- 
ing its winter quarters at Stevensburg on May 3d. 

At ten o'clock we received marching orders, and the battery train 
was sent to the rear. Tents were struck and packed, the battery 
hitched up and everything was in readiness for a move. Just before 
starting we received word of the capture of our senior second lieu- 
tenant, Charles A. Brown, on the 18th, by guerrillas (Mosby's 
men), while returning to the battery on the Frederickburg road 
leading from Belle Plain. 

At five o'clock p. m. the battery broke camp and, marching south- 
east, traveled all night, crossing the Fredericksburg and Richmond 
Railroad at Guinea Station just after sunrise on the morning of the 



290 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [May, 

2 1 st. The firing of our cavalry videttes was heard as they ap- 
proached the enemy's pickets, and the movement was therefore no 
longer to be concealed. The troops went pushing on, and as the 
battery passed through Bowling Green about 10.30 a. m., a num- 
ber of the F. F. V. ladies (southern belles) were seen at the win- 
dows or on the porches viewing the northern troops as they marched 
by, but no men were visible. They were probably in the cellars 
on guard. Continuing the march we passed through Milford Station, 
on the above-mentioned railroad, and halted taking position on the 
right bank of the river. The advance guard (the cavalry) found a 
force of rebel pickets located in rifle-pits on the north side of the 
Mattapony River, and by a vigorous dash dislodged them capturing 
sixty or more prisoners, and saving the bridge from serious in- 
jury secured an easy crossing of the river. General Barlow's di- 
vision crossed as soon as it reached the bridge, followed by General 
Gibbon's division on the left, and a line of battle was soon formed 
about a mile from the river. Battery B, after crossing, took posi- 
tion with General Barlow's troops, and at three p. m. threw up 
breastworks for the pieces. General Tyler's division of heavy ar- 
tillery held the left of the line, while General Birney's division re- 
mained in reserve. The cavalry was pushed well to the front to give 
timely notice of any advance of the rebels, while necessary prepara- 
tions were made to attack them vigorously in case they showed them- 
selves. The intrenched lines of General Hancock's troops, which 
had been thrown up in a few hours, were marvels of skill and in- 
dustry, and General Burnside, upon his arrival, expressed astonish- 
ment at their massive character, scarcely believing that it had not 
required days instead of hours for their construction. The troops, 
worn by the long march (twenty miles) and the subsequent labor, 
were still further harassed by the groundless alarm of some of the new 
regiments, which compelled the troops to remain under arms nearly 
all night. Fortunately the next day was one of complete rest for 
the Second Corps while waiting for the arrival of the other troops. 

On the 22d, the battery remained quietly in the breastworks all 
day and the men thoroughly appreciated the rest. Our mail came 
again to-day, much to the joy of those fortunate ones who received 
a message from home. At night the battery bivouacked in the works, 
supported by Colonel Byrne's brigade (the Second) of General Bar- 
low's division (the First). All was quiet on the picket line. 

On the 23d, at daybreak, the troops were moving to the left and 




North Anna River, May 23-27, 1864. 



1864.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 291 

front, but it was nine o'clock before Battery B left the breast- 
works to follow the Second Brigade. About four r. m. we met the 
rebel videttes on the north side of North Anna River. Battery B 
took position in battery near the Richmond and Fredericksburg Rail- 
road, opening fire on the enemy's troops who were forming on the 
south side of the river. The long lines of jaded rebel troops could 
be seen coming into position on the opposite bank and forming sim- 
ultaneously with our men. The sharp artillery fire which we opened 
compelled them to seek cover in the woods at their rear, or in the 
intrenchments which they had already prepared with a view to this 
contingency. The rebels still held a small earthwork on our (the 
north) side of the river, thus covering the county road bridge. Our 
advance (General Birney's troops) steadily pushed the enemy back- 
ward until all its skirmishers were driven to the works at the head 
of the bridge, which General Hancock determined to carry and hold, 
and for this purpose two brigades were brought up. They advanced 
rapidly in splendid style over open ground, and carried the intrench- 
ments without a halt. The rebels were driven pell-mell across the 
river, and the bridge seized and saved from destruction. Some prison- 
ers were captured. During this engagement the advance portion of 
the Artillery Brigade (consisting of Battery B and two other bat- 
teries) were warmly engaged with the enemy. The rebels had made 
desperate efforts to burn the bridge as they retreated, and not suc- 
ceeding renewed their attempts during the night, but were foiled and 
beaten off. They succeeded, however, in partially destroying the 
railroad bridge of the Richmond and Fredericksburg road. 

On the 24th, the infantry crossed the North Anna at eight o'clock 
A. 51., succeeded in driving back the enemy's skirmishers, and cap- 
tured the first line of works which it occupied. Our artillery as- 
sisted from the north bank of the river. Battery B during the fore- 
noon shelled the enemy's line, and although the rebel batteries an- 
swered no one in our battery was wounded. About five o'clock in 
the afternoon the battery hitched up, and leaving the breastworks 
crossed the river below the railroad bridge by means of the pon- 
toon bridge, by which the First and Second Divisions had crossed ; 
we then advanced about a mile and took position in partially con- 
structed breastworks, which we finished. From this position we 
could plainly hear the cars running within the rebel lines. The en- 
emy's sharpshooters were quite troublesome until dark, but no one 
in the battery was hit by them. We had a shower in the evening 



292 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [May, 

which continued nearly all night. The men bivouacked beside the 
pieces. 

On the 25th, the battery was ordered to change its position, and 
therefore advanced to the right and front crossing the Richmond and 
Fredericksburg Railroad to within six hundred yards of the rebel 
picket line. Here we again threw up works in front of our pieces, 
and were supported by Colonel Byrne's brigade. We fired a few 
shot at the rebel works causing their pickets to remain quiet for the 
rest of the day. Another shower passed over but it did not last long. 
At dusk the battery withdrew from the breastworks about two hun- 
dred yards to the rear, and parked, with the caissons in a hollow, 
under cover of a ridge upon which the reserve line of infantry was 
in position. Here the men bivouacked for the night enjoying a good 
rest, not being called upon to build breastworks as had been the case 
for the past three nights. 

On the 26th, at daybreak, the battery again took its position at the 
breastworks of the picket line, but everything was quiet. The ene- 
my's line and the men moving about could be plainly seen, but no 
firing occurred, and thus we lay all day watching each other. Just 
at dark the rebel skirmishers opened a sharp fire upon our skirmish 
line as it was about being relieved. Our men formed in double lines 
were not slow in answering, and the Confederates received a return 
fire such as they were not looking for ; as a consequence they Avere 
forced to fall back, and some of our men following them up captured 
a few prisoners. At this outbreak the cannoneers sprang quickly to 
their posts at the pieces, but being so close to the lines dared not 
fire for fear of killing their own men in the dark. The firing did not 
last more than ten minutes when all was quiet again. Our pickets 
learned that the assault was unintentional on the part of the Confed- 
erates, being caused by a bold comrade who wished to make himself 
conspicuous. He accomplished his purpose, but paid the penalty 
with his life. It was said that he had three bullet wounds in his 
head from the first fire of our infantry, killing him instantly. 

At eleven o'clock p. m. the order was given for the battery to hitch 
and pack up quietly. At 11.30 we withdrew from the front to the 
rear, moving by the same route of our advance. At twelve, mid- 
night, the battery recrossed the North Anna and the railroad, back to 
the breastworks we had occupied on the 23d, and bivouacked after 
the pieces had been placed in position. 

Early on the morning of the 27th, the rebel pickets came down to 



1864.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 293 

the opposite bank of the river, and their sharpshooters were some- 
what troublesome, but no one in the battery was hit. At noon the 
battery was packed and broke camp, moved by the left flank and 
marched until sundown, and bivouacked for the night having marched 
ten miles beyond Concord. 

On the 28th, after the usual morning duties, the battery resumed 
the march at seven o'clock, moving southeast to Perry's Ford on the 
Pamunkey River, crossed at nine o'clock, and moving forward for 
about a mile went into position in battery on a ridge, with the infantry 
and a few rods in front. Here the cannoneers threw up little half 
circle works in front of each piece. The caissons were parked in a 
hollow some three hundred yards to the rear. At dark we bivou- 
acked for the night. 

May 29th. Reveille at sunrise. A beautiful Sunday morning. 
The weather was as pleasant as could be asked for, but a little rain 
to settle the clouds of dust would have been appreciated. At ten 
o'clock received marching orders. The battery was soon packed and 
hitched up, and at noon left the breastworks and advanced with the 
First Division, General Barlow haviug been ordered to make a recon- 
naissance in his front and right towards the Totopotomoy River. 
We passed over the ground of the cavalry fight of the preceding 
afternoon, and at Hawe's shop a number of dead rebel cavalrymen 
were seen. These were buried by our men. Barlow did not strike 
the enemy until he reached the junction of the Cold Harbor and 
Hanover Court House road with the county road. Here some rebel 
cavalry disputed his passage, but were speedily dispersed and the 
division moved on. On reaching Shallow Run, a tributary of Toto- 
potomoy, we found breastworks well manned. The division formed 
line of battle and Battery B took position on the ridge in rear of the 
infantry, throwing up breastworks in front of the pieces, working 
nearly all night. By morning the other two divisions of the corps 
formed on our right and left, with the Sixth Corps well up and in 
support. 

On the 30th, the morning opened fine, and at sunrise Brooke's 
brigade, of Barlow's Division, moved forward against the rebel line 
of skirmishers and rifle-pits, and carried them in handsome style. They 
immediately converted the pits into cover and protection for them- 
selves, as the enemy's artillery had opened fire on its lost lines. 
Battery B could not long remain inactive when a rebel battery was 
at work in its vicinity. Receiving orders we opened fire, sending 



294 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [June, 

our compliments by shot and shell and firing about forty rounds. 
The other batteries of the brigade came up, and took position to our 
right along the ridge where stood a handsome mansion which was 
riddled by shot and shell during the firing. After a fierce duel of 
about one hour our artillery succeeded in silencing the rebel guns. 
Our line of fire had been very short, but we were again fortunate in 
having nocasualties. After the artillery firing had ceased the battery 
was ordered to advance, and moved forward about a thousand yards 
to the captured line. After placing the guns in position we were or- 
dered to strengthen the earthworks for our protection. The horses 
were taken to the rear where the caissons were parked, and the can- 
noneers bivouacked at the breastworks. 

On the 31st, as morning dawned, the activity of the enemy's 
sharpshooters commenced, then the pickets of both sides took a hand, 
and the result was quite a lively skirmish. The rebels, not being 
satisfied in the loss of their lines, advanced on a charge and attacked 
in force. They were met by a steady fire from our troops which 
brought them to a halt. Our men then countercharged and the enemy 
was driven back within its lines closely followed by Barlow's and 
Gibbon's men, but the position was found too strong to afford a suc- 
cessful assault. 

While the infantry were reconnoitering the position Battery B vig- 
orously shelled the enemy's line, and their artillery made it quite hot 
for us, compelling us to carry the ammunition up by hand, as it was 
not safe to have horses bring up the caisson limbers. After the 
repulse of the enemy, and the return of our troops to their own lines, 
the sharpshooters remained quiet. The remainder of the day, how- 
ever, was passed in heavy and incessant skirmishing by the pickets, 
in which the battery took no part. At night the cannoneers bivou- 
acked in the breastworks by the pieces. 

"Wednesday, June 1st. Weather pleasant but very warm. After 
the horses had been cared for, the piece horses were taken to the front 
and hitched to the limbers. The sharpshooters and pickets on both 
sides were quite active all day, and bullets flew thick and fast. We 
had one horse wounded which was taken to the rear and replaced by 
one of the spare horses. There were no other casualties. The bat- 
tery remained at the front all day, but suffered greatly from the heat, 
it having been very hot. Two of the cannoneers were overcome by 
the heat and taken to the rear. 

At dusk the pieces were withdrawn from the breastworks to where 



1864.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 295 

the caissons were parked, and everything was packed ready for 
another move. At nine o'clock p. m. we moved with the First 
Division marching south all night, passed in rear of the Eighteenth 
Corps near Beulah Church and halted at Cold Harbor. The ni°-ht 
had been intensely hot and breathless, and our march was through 
roads deep with dust, which rose in suffocating clouds as it was 
stirred by the feet of men and horses. In the darkness much con- 
fusion arose throughout the column as the road, on which we were 
moving, gradually narrowed until finally the hubs of the wheels would 
strike the trees on either side. One piece became firmly wedged, and 
we were obliged to cut down a tree in order to obviate the difficulty. 
This mishap was occasioned by the error of one of General Meade's 
aides, a faithful and excellent officer of engineers, who undertook to 
conduct the leading column of the Second Corps by a short cut 
through a wooded road, which proved too narrow to move with the 
expediency desired. This misadventure prevented General Hancock 
from reaching Cold Harbor at the appointed time (daybreak of June 
2d). Instead it was not until between six and seven o'clock that the 
troops began to arrive, and then in an extremely exhausted condi- 
tion. 

On the 2d, Battery B passed through Cold Harbor at eight a. m., 
and parked in an old cornfield in the suburbs of the town. The 
horses were unhitched, unharnessed and taken to water, and if beasts 
ever enjoyed water those poor horses did. They plunged into the 
brook sinking their heads up to their eyes, and, after drinking, many 
laid down in the stream and rolled over much to the discomfiture of 
their riders. At noon the battery was again packed and hitched up 
already for the march, and at one o'clock we moved for the front, 
passing some five hundred rebel prisoners who had been captured by 
the Sixth and Eighteenth Corps. 

We took position in battery on a high ridge overlooking sloping 
ground upon which the First Division lay in line of battle. We had 
no more than got into position when the enemy opened fire from a 
battery, and shelled our line vigorously for a few minutes. We 
promptly replied, sending shot and shell with such effect that the 
rebel battery soon ceased firing. We could see only the smoke of 
the enemy's battery, as it was hidden in the edge of some woods, 
while we were in plain sight with only small earthworks in our 
front. Again the battery was fortunate in having only one horse 
wounded. We remained at the front until dark then withdrew the 



296 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [JlUie, 

battery to the rear under cover of the hill, and after going into park 
unhitched and unharnessed, and bivouacked for the night. The in- 
tense heat of the day, and the fire of the sharpshooters had made it 
exceedingly hot for us. 

On the 3d, reveille was sounded not by our bugler but by the en- 
emy's pickets who opened a sharp fire on our lines. Orders were 
given to move, the horses were soon harnessed and hitched to the 
pieces, and away we went for the front on the double-quick. On 
reaching our position of last evening we wheeled into battery in the 
earthworks, which had been strengthened during the night, and pre- 
pared for action. On arriving at the breastworks we found the di- 
vision under arms preparing for an assault on the enemy's works. 
The brigades of Brooke and Miles deployed, leading the attack sup- 
ported by Byrnes, in the immediate front of Battery B's position. 
At the signal General Barlow's division advanced, and found the 
enemy strongly posted in the sunken road, from which it was driven 
after a severe struggle, and followed into its intrenchments under a 
heavy fire of musketry and artillery. Between two and three hun- 
dred prisoners, a stand of colors, and three pieces of artillery fell 
into the hands of Barlow's troops, The captured guns were turned 
on the enemy by men of the Seventh New York Heavy Artillery, 
Col. L. O. Morris, and the most strenuous efforts were made to hold 
the position. 

An enfilading fire of the rebel artillery swept down the line cap- 
tured by our men, while the dhemy in the second line of works 
opened on it, and, after being reenforced by fresh troops, advanced 
upon our men with the utmost determination to retake its lost posi- 
tion. Our infantry supports were slow in going forward on account 
of this enfilading artillery fire of the enemy's guns, and though Bar- 
low's men held on with great stubbornness they were finally forced 
out. Colonel Brooke was severely wounded, and Colonels Byrnes and 
Morris killed. Though compelled to retire our men did not fallback 
far, but intrenched themselves by piling up rails, sticks, broken limbs 
from the trees, loosening the earth with their bayonets, and scraping 
it up with their hands or tin plates ; and here, at little more than 
pistol range from the enemy's line of works, they remained through- 
out the day. 

As our troops advanced to the assault Battery B opened fire, with 
shot and spherical case at long range, on the enemy's artillery to 
draw its fire from our infantry, but without much success, as it only 




Cold Harbor, June 2-12, 1864. 



1864.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 297 

sent us its compliments now and then, many of them went over us 
much to the discomfort of those in our rear. The battery continued 
its fire for some ten or fifteen minutes, when suddenly the enemy's 
shells burst in our midst and about us like a tornado, followed by 
solid shot, sending the dirt and debris of the earthworks in every 
direction, and blinding the cannoneers for a time. Crack — would 
go a report overhead and the shells rushing to the rear would cause the 
non-combatants to think that the rebels were after them. It looked 
to us as if it were going to be another Gettysburg. Had the enemy 
got our range, and was it trying to knock us out? But no ! it only 
lasted a few moments, when the shells, which had only been chance 
shots, went wild, much to our relief, and its fire ceased. We kept 
up our fire for some minutes, but receiving no reply we were ordered 
to cease firing. The fire of the enemy's artillery and musketry, 
which Battery B endured for some thirty minutes was terrific. 

Again I am happy to write that the battery was most fortunate. 
Though a dozen or more shell burst in and around our breastworks, 
our casualties were very light ; only one cannoneer, Francis Slaiger, 
was wounded, being hit in the foot, and two drivers slightly injured. 
After the firing had ceased the cannoneers set to work repairing and 
strengthening their breastworks. As evening came on a furious in- 
fantry fire broke out along the two lines ; now so near together, being 
in many places only thirty yards apart, that no pickets could be 
thrown out by either side. The firing indicated to us that the enemy, 
under cover of the clouds of smoke, would make an attempt to rush 
out on our lines and capture them by a sudden dash ; our men, how- 
ever, were on the alert and gave the rebels as good a fire as they 
sent, which so satisfied them that they remained quiet for the night. 
The Second Corps intrenchments so rapidly constructed, under heavy 
fire at an almost incredibly short distance from the enemy's line, had 
by this time been sufficiently strengthened to make them as formida- 
ble to the rebels as theirs were to us. In this critical and painful 
situation the two armies settled down to watch each other. The bat- 
tery bivouacked at the breastworks, and the night was made com- 
fortable by a refreshing shower. 

June 4th. The morning opened with a brisk firing by the sharp- 
shooters. Whenever a head appeared above the works for an instant 
it became a target for a score of shots. At eleven o'clock the rebel 
batteries opened a heavy fire on our lines, being promptly answered 
by our artillery, Battery B using only solid shot. The firing was 



- J0 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [June, 

kept up for about an hour, then came an interval for lunch of hard- 
tack and salt pork. About half-past one p. m. the battery was or- 
dered to commence firing at intervals of two minutes for an hour ; 
then we ceased firing. No casualties. 

First Sergt. A. A. Williams received his commission of second 
lieutenant in Company C, Fourteenth Rhode Island Heavy Artillery 
(colored), and was ordered to report to artillery headquarters. This 
commission he had been expecting for some time. Sergt. John F. 
Hanson was promoted to first sergeant vice A. A. Williams dis- 
charged to accept commission. 

For better protection from the enemy's artillery fire, we dug into 
the ground and constructed bomb-proofs with logs covered with bushes 
and earth, and when not at work at the pieces we were like the 
ground hogs burrowed in the earth. The approach of night brought 
another outburst of infantry firing. The battery did not fire a°ny 
but remained quietly at the front all night. 

The 5th and 6th of June were essentially a repetition of the 4th, 
with this exception, we received our mail. In active campaign^ 
whether in battle, on the march, or at a halt for a day, the forward- 
ing of the mails was an uncertainty. 

June 7th. This morning orders were issued to save all bags and 
boxes, this looked as if we were to settle down for a siege.° Our 
caissons were ordered up to the front, and parked in the hollow within 
two hundred yards of the pieces, and the men who came up with 
them were set to work building bomb-proofs, as the men at the pieces 
had done. It was very quiet in our front all day ; the sharpshooters 
were taking a rest. In the afternoon flags of truce were seen along 
the lines, Generals Grant and Lee having made arrangements for a 
cessation of hostilities from six to eight in the evening, in order to 
bury the dead and remove the wounded. Five clays had elapsed 
since the deadly engagement on the morning of the 3d, and through 
all this dreadful interval scores of desperately wounded men we're 
lying in that narrow space between the two lines, uncared for and 
without water. All who could crawl in on the one side or the other 
had dorfe so, hundreds had been brought in at great risk to their res- 
cuers, but there were still those who lay where it was simply death 
for one to attempt their rescue. 

During the time of the truce the men of both armies at the en- 
trenchments stood up and viewed each other. Some sat on top of 
the works calmly smoking their pipes, while others held up bags of 




First Sergt. John F. Hanson. 



1864.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 299 

coffee, beckoning to the Confederates to come over and get some. 
The rebels held up plugs of tobacco signaling to us the same, but 
these invitations were not accepted. Just before eight o'clock the 
detail which had been out between the lines returned, and strange to 
say they reported that there were more Confederate than Union dead 
lying there. They gave their attention to burying the Union dead, 
as General Lee had replied to General Grant's first request, that 
" he had no dead or wounded not attended to." But facts proved to 
the contrary as the field was examined for our dead. Very few were 
found wearing the Union blue, while those of the butternut gray were 
more numerous. 

At eight o'clock not a head could be seen above the works on either 
side, all had retired behind their breastworks each watching for the 
careless one to show his hat for an instant, and if he did so it became 
the target for the sharpshooters, and zip would be heard in that vi- 
cinity. 

At nine o'clock occurred the usual outburst of musketry with some 
artillery fire, which soon rose to the greatest fury. The troops in 
the trenches were comparatively safe, but the plain behind was 
swept by shot and shell. At corps headquarters Capt. A. M. McCune, 
Seventy-fourth New York, the assistant provost-marshal, was killed 
by a solid shot while standing at the door of General Hancock's tent. 
No one exposed to the fury of that storm will ever forget how the 
horrors of battle were heightened by the blackness of the night. 

On the 8th of June the morning was very warm, and the pickets 
were quiet, probably it was hot enough for them and they did not 
want to make it any hotter. It was quiet along the lines all the fore- 
noon for a change, but in the afternoon the Confederates opened fire 
with artillery doing little damage. We did not answer. 

Battery A, First Rhode Island Light Artillery, was relieved from 
the front as the term of service of many of the men had expired. 
They had been with the Second Division of the corps in this cam- 
paign while we were with the First. 

The morning of the 9th was a little cooler than several preceding 
ones, and the sharpshooters heralded the rising sun by peppering 
each other, keeping it up during the day. The usual cannonading 
was dispensed with, and at dusk all was quiet along the line. We 
bivouacked in our bomb-proofs in quietude, having a good night's rest. 

The 10th and 11th of June were similar in their essential charac- 
ter, and the battery remained quiet at the front waiting orders. 



300 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [June, 



CHAPTER XXL 



GENERAL GRANT'S FLANK MOVEMENT TO THE 
SOUTH OF THE JAMES. — FROM COLD HARBOR 
TO PETERSBURG. 

JUNE 12th. The usual salute of the pickets and sharpshoot- 
ers was fired at sunrise. The cannoneers were ordered to their 
posts, but the battery did not fire as the pickets soon quieted 
down, and the cannoneers were dismissed from their pieces, leaving 
only a guard on duty. 

At noon the caissons, with all surplus baggage, were sent to the 
battery train, three miles to the rear, in charge of First Sergeant 
Hanson. Dame Rumor was again busy, and it was whispered 
around by those coming up from the rear that another flank move- 
ment was on foot. If so, it must be for some distance to the south 
or north, for Richmond was directly ahead of us with General Lee's 
army between. 

At sunset the battery quietly withdrew from the intrenchments and 
moving to the rear where the battery train was parked halted. Here 
we waited for the division to withdraw, it having been relieved. We 
did not have to wait long for at nine o'clock we moved out of park 
into the road, and moved along with the Third Brigade of the First 
Division (General Barlow) marching all night. We passed Black 
Creek Church, and crossed the Richmond and York River Railroad 
near Summit Station at two o'clock on the morning of the 13th. 
Continued marching until eleven o'clock, then halted and fed the 
horses, the men in the meantime making coffee. At noon we re- 
sumed the march and crossed the Chickahominy River at Long 
Bridge, passed Charles City Court House and halted at dark near 
Wilcox Landing on the James River. Here the battery parked and 



1864.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 301 

bivouacked for the night. The lights of the gunboats and transports 
could plainly be seen. 

On the 14th the battery remained in park all day, and had a good 
rest after the long and fatiguing march of about twenty-four hours. 
We were waiting for the infantry to cross the river, which it had 
been doing all day on transports. It was a slow process there being so 
many troops to cross over. At sunset the battery hitched up and 
moved down near the road leading to the river, so as to be in readiness 
to cross when its turn came, remaining here all night. 

June loth. It was ten a. m. before the battery moved down to 
the landing, and commenced to embark on the transports which were 
to take us over. We disembarked at Wind Mill Point, and moving 
up the river a few rods went into park. It was slow and tedious 
work conveying the troops across, the facilities were very inadequate, 
and the landing places, wharves, and roads were incomplete. The 
weather was very warm and pleasant, and after camp duties the men 
were given permission to bathe in the James River, which they greatly 
enjoyed. At night we received marching orders and hitched up, the 
horses remaining in harness all night. The men bivouacked beside 
the pieces and caissons. 

On the 16th, the battery moved at an early hour, marching some 
fifteen or sixteen miles toward Petersburg. Heavy firing was heard 
in front, our forces were making an attack on the redoubts. We 
passed some rebel prisoners and captured pieces of artillery, which 
had been taken by General Smith's men. One of his colored regi- 
ments made a splendid charge yesterday, in which the men proved 
themselves good soldiers, for they took and occupied the first line of 
the enemy's works, captured a great number of prisoners, and six- 
teen pieces of artillery. 

As the firing became sharper the battery was ordered to move for- 
ward on the double-quick, the cannoneers were ordered to mount, and 
we went down the road on a gallop ; turning to the right into an old 
cornfield, we took position in battery and prepared for action on a 
ridge, in front and at the foot of which ran a small creek. We did 
not fire as we were not engaged. Here we bivouacked for the night. 

On the 17th, things remained quiet until two o'clock in the morn- 
ing, when we were routed out of our slumbers and ordered to pack 
and hitch up as soon as possible. We moved by the left flank down into 
the road then advanced to the front to the breastworks, on the left of the 
Prince George Court House and Petersburg road, and, taking position, 



302 history of battery b, [June, 

about nine hundred yards from the rebel works, relieved Captain 
Dorr's battery. The caissons were parked some distance in the rear. 
At sunrise we were troubled by the enemy's sharpshooters. The 
battery fired shot and spherical case at intervals during the day. We 
could plainly see the rebels throwing up earthworks, but made it 
quite warm for them, causing them to hustle around lively. At dusk 
the enemy made an attack on our line at our right and front, but was 
repulsed and driven back within its own works. The battery fired 
about forty rounds, mostly spherical case. Our casualties were two 
horses wounded which had to be killed. We bivouacked at the 
breastworks all night. 

On the 18th, after a good night's rest, we were routed up at daylight. 
The enemy's pickets made an attack at sunrise, were repulsed and 
driven back into their intrenchments. A part of their works were 
captured and occupied by our men. Battery B was ordered to 
limber up and moved out of the breastworks advancing to the front, 
to again relieve Captain Dorr's battery at the picket line intrench- 
ments. While getting into position we had one horse wounded by the 
fire of the enemy's sharpshooters. As soon as the pieces were in 
battery we opened fire with solid shot, and then a few shell. The 
enemy was at such short range that we were ordered to have the 
horses taken to the rear where the caissons were parked. At night 
the cannoneers strengthened the breastworks in front of the pieces 
for better protection. 

Sunday, June 19th. At daylight every man was up and moving 
about, looking over the grounds and taking in the situation. There 
was to our right and rear a once splendid mansion (the Hare 
house) now nearly destroyed by shot and shell, being completely 
riddled with rifle-balls. The lawn had been ruthlessly torn up by 
pickaxe and shovel, and converted into earthworks by the troops, 
while the once level fields were now covered with long ridges thrown up 
here and there. A man by the name of Hare formerly resided here, 
but did not stay to form our acquaintance : though the enemy's 
sharpshooters did, and kept up a steady fire at anything that moved. 
As time hung heavily on our hands some of the men obtained rifles 
which had been left on the field by the wounded, and getting ammuni- 
tion from the infantry of our support, tried their skill at sharpshooting 
with the result of soon being ordered to cease in the work they had 
undertaken, or they would be sent to the skirmish line where they would 
get all the rifle practice they desired. This threat proved effective. 



1864.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 303 

They threw down the rifles, preferring to stay where they were in- 
stead of going any nearer to the front. 

At two o'clock on the morning of the 20th, the right piece of the 
battery was advanced about fifty yards to a knoll, where heavy earth- 
works were thrown up in a half circle about the piece, and at sunrise 
when the enemy's sharpshooters began their work, a fire of spheri- 
cal case sent into a clump of trees in our front quieted them for most 
of the forenoon, and when they did begin again there were not so 
many shots sent in our direction as there had been. At dark Bat- 
tery B withdrew from the front, and moving back to the rear about 
a mile went into park bivouacking for the night. 

The Second Corps had been relieved by the Ninth Corps, though 
it was said that the Second Corps was to be in reserve. The old men 
of the Second knew what that meant, they had not forgotten the 
remark of a member of the Irish brigade when General Caldwell 
formed his division in line of battalions behind General Sickles at 
Gettysburg, and the men were told that they were to be in reserve. 
*' In resarve is it ? Yis, resarve for the heavy fightin ! " And such it 
proved. 

On the morning of the 21st, at eight o'clock, the battery was 
hitched up and moved down to the left several miles with the 
First Division, General Barlow. Crossing the Norfolk and Peters- 
burg Railroad and the Jerusalem Plank road, we advanced toward 
the Weldon Railroad and were placed in position on rising ground 
near the woods. The Second Corps formed on the left of General 
Warren's line (the Fifth Corps) extending the line further to the 
left. In this new position the First Division, General Barlow, held 
the left flank, which was within two miles of the Weldon Railroad. 
As the division was advancing it encountered the picket line of the 
enemy and a lively skirmish ensued, when the enemy was driven 
back and our lines were established. Battery B remained all night 
at the reserve picket line, while the division held on to the lines es- 
tablished. The left was formed at nearly right angles to the main 
line. During the night the Sixth Corps arrived and formed taking 
position on our left. 

On the 22d, at sunrise, Battery B withdrawing from the picket 
line moved to the rear and went into park near the Sixth Corps bat- 
teries. Here we met some old friends and acquaintances of our 
youth, the members of Battery C, First Rhode Rhode Island Light 
Artillery. Their battery was parked a few rods to our left. 



304 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [June, 

In the afternoon heavy musketry firing was heard on our right, 
and at three o'clock Battery B was ordered to the front on a double- 
quick. On reaching the infantry's line of battle we took position in 
rear of the First Brigade, General Miles, and threw up breastworks 
in front of the pieces. In the advance movement which had been 
undertaken, the Sixth Corps, on account of the woods, the nature of 
the ground, and the long distance it had to cover, could not keep up 
with the Second Corps, which being pushed rapidly forward caused 
the left to break away from the right of the Sixth making a gap. 
The advance soon met the enemy, and the left of the division was 
thrown into confusion by a sharp attack of the enemy in force. The 
Sixth Corps being still behind, General Barlow halted his line and 
made a stand, waiting for it to come up. The falling back of 
each successive body of troops uncovered the left flank of the one 
next to it. When the left flank of General Gibbon's (the Second 
Division) was reached, a resolute attack was being made on his 
front, which, combined with that upon the left, drove his line back in 
some disorder, due to the suddenness rather than to the severity of 
the assault. 

The disorder proved most disastrous to the division for the enemy 
captured the four pieces of the Twelfth New York (McKnight's) 
battery and several hundred prisoners, while the Second Corps 
was defeated almost without being engaged. There had been very 
little fighting, and only the extraordinary quickness and precision of 
the enemy's movement at the time could have produced such a re- 
sult. At the outburst Battery B was ordered to the front, as were 
other batteries of the corps, but it was all over before they could be 
brought into position. We bivouacked in line of battle all night. 
There was heavy firing at intervals until morning. 

On the 23d and 24th, Battery B remained at the front in the earth- 
works which the cannoneers had thrown up on the 22d, but was not 
called upon to do any firing, as the infantry pickets did all that was 
required in that line. 

On the 25th, the battery withdrew from the front, and moving to 
the rear parked on a level plain in front of a wooded hill. Water 
was very scarce in this vicinity, and the drivers were obliged to go 
nearly two miles to water their horses. The weather had been ex- 
ceedingly warm, and the roads and fields were extremely dusty. 
Our troops on the march looked more like the graybacks of the Con- 
federacy, than the blue coats of the Union. 



1864.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 305 

Sunday, June 26th. Moved our camp into the woods on the hill. 
The weather was close and muggy in the morning and the sun very 
hot at noon, the thermometer registering 104° in the shade. This 
intense heat seemed to keep the Confederates quiet during the day, 
but at night they were as lively as owls. At nine o'clock p. m. they 
attacked our picket line, but our boys were ready for them and gave 
them all they wanted, and our batteries kept up a heavy firing all night. 
Battery B was not engaged, but for a wonder remained in camp. 

On the 27th, the weather was somewhat cooler, we had a shower 
in the afternoon which was quite refreshing. Received our mail to- 
day which was the largest that had been received for some time. It 
had been held back somewhere, as some of the letters received were 
over a month old. At dark the battery was ordered to hitch up, and 
moved to the front line relieving the Tenth Massachusetts Battery, 
Captain Sleeper. We are still in reserve as usual, but in the front 
lines awaiting a visit from the Confederates. We waited all night, 
the horses remained harnessed, and the men bivouacked at their 
posts. The enemy did not try to surprise our lines as we expected 
they would. All was quiet throughout the night. 

On the 28th and 29th, the battery remained at the breastworks, 
having nothing to do but to watch the rebels in their works. Firing 
was heard in the distance on the right though all was quiet in our 
front. Our wagons with forge came up from the train, and parked 
with the caissons in our camp on the hill. The sutlers made their 
appearance, none having been seen since last April. One had con- 
veniently located his tent near our camp. How our boys longed 
to return to their camp and patronize that sutler. They would 
have bought him out regardless of cost, for they never let the 
matter of price stand between them and good things if they were to 
be had. Money was plenty in Uncle Sam's pocket-book, but alas, 
not in our's which were flat, not having been paid since March. 
So much excitement had been going on for the past two months that 
we had almost forgotten there was such a thing as "greenbacks." 

June 30th. The weather was cool and comfortable though cloudy. 
There was a little picket firing early in the morning, just to let us 
know that the rebels were still there and as lively as ever. The battery 
was mustered for the months of May and June. We may get our 
pay next week and perhaps not until next month, there is nothing 
certain about it. The paymaster would make us exceedingly happy 
if he would put in his appearance shortly with a carpet-bag of 
greenbacks, now four months due. 

20 



30tl HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [July, 

Friday, July 1st. A light shower this morning was hailed with 
pleasure, as it cooled the air making it quite comfortable. Colonel 
Tidball, of the United States Army, who had been in command of 
the Artillery Brigade of the Second Corps, was relieved and ordered 
to West Point for duty. Later he returned and commanded the ar- 
tillery of the Ninth Corps. On the retirement of Colonel Tid- 
ball Maj. John G. Hazard was appointed to the command of the 
Artillery Brigade of the Second Corps, comprised of fourteen bat- 
teries of fifty-six guns. 

On the 2d, the pickets of both armies were quiet and remained so 
throughout the day. At noon we were surprised by the issuing of 
potatoes, tomatoes, pickled onions, lemons, and tobacco. These had 
been sent to the Rhode Island troops by the Sanitary Commission, 
whose relation to the army was vital. The value of such work 
could not be overestimated, and the commission, which carried it ou 
so vigorously, deserved the hearty and liberal support of the patri- 
otic and humane, whom it so faithfully represented. Its experience 
in everything pertaining to the sanitary welfare of the troops, whether 
on the field or in the hospital was invaluable, and while the Rebel- 
lion continued found ample scope for its disinterested labors. 

At sunset the enemy's pickets opened a lively skirmish fire along 
the line and kept it up for quite a while, as if determined to make 
up for lost time in remaining quiet all day. During the night several 
outbursts of a like nature occurred, but the services of the battery 
were not required. 

Sunday, July 3d. This morning Battery B was relieved by 
Lieutenant Roder's Battery K, Fourth United States, and we returned 
to the camp on the hill. After parking and caring for the horses the 
men began to look for the sutler, but he was nowhere to be found in 
the vicinity of our camp, much to the regret of Battery B's men. 
It was said that he had pulled up stakes and moved the day before, 
upon hearing that the battery was to return to its old camping-ground. 
Dame Rumor had been gossipping, and, as the sutler was not anx- 
ious to sell out just then regardless of cost, he thought he would 
move and take up his abode near the camp of troops who had just 
been paid. 

On the 4th, there was a mounted inspection of the battery by Cap- 
tain Miller, of the Artillery Brigade, at five o'clock in the afternoon. 
Everything was found to be in tip-top condition. 

On the 5th, we received more vegetables from the Sanitary Com- 



1864.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 307 

mission such as were issued on the 2d instant. This was a second 
treat of fresh vegetables, etc. For the past month the beef (fresh) 
ration had been from cattle nearly exhausted by long marches 
through a country scantily provided with forage. As a result men 
died of flesh wounds, who, otherwise, would have been afforded a 
Avelcome excuse for a thirty days' sick-leave. An outburst of the 
enemy's pickets, although met promptly by a return fire from our 
men, failed to show any trace of that enthusiasm which character- 
ized the earlier days of the campaign. 

July 6th. Water being scarce and having to go a great distance 
for it, the men were set to work digging a well, one squad working 
for an hour and then being relieved by another. 

July 7th. William S. Perrin, our senior first lieutenant, was or- 
dered to Battery A, First *Rhode Island Artillery, to take command, 
as Captain Arnold had resigned having been mustered out of service. 
This left Battery B with only two commissioned officers present for 
duty, namely : Capt. T. Fred. Brown and First Lieut. James E. 
Chace. Second Lieut. Gideon Spencer was absent on detached ser- 
vice with the corps ammunition train, and Second Lieut. Charles A. 
Brown was a prisoner in the hands of the enemy. 

July 8th. Hot and muggy, and the rebels made it still hotter at 
sunrise by opening a sharp picket fire extending along the front of 
the line. At one place they left their works and advanced on a 
charge, but were driven back with some loss, our men capturing 150 
prisoners. This made them mad, and to vent their spite they kept 
up a sharp fire the greater part of the forenoon. Battery B at the 
outburst of the firing was ordered to hitch up and await orders ; and 
we did wait, with horses in harness and cannoneers at their posts, 
until nine a. m., when we received orders to unhitch and unharness 
the horses, and take them to water. 

July 9th, was a warm pleasant day with no firing on either side to 
speak of. During the day the Sixth Corps was relieved from the 
front, and the Second Corps took its place in the intrenchments, and 
for a wonder Battery B was not ordered to the front, but allowed to 
remain in camp. Lieut. Gideon Spencer returned to the battery 
from detached service with the ammunition train of the corps. 

Sunday, July 10th. The morning was very muggy, but the day 
was pleasant though very hot, and the roads were very dusty. The 
Sixth Corps was withdrawn yesterday and dispatched in haste to 
Washington to reenforce the troops there, to meet the invasion of 
General Early. 



308 HISTORY OF BATTEUY B, [July, 

At ten o'clock the battery had its usual Sunday inspection, and 
clothing such as pants, blouses, shirts, socks, and boots were issued 
to those who wished them. The day passed quietly without any 
unusual excitement. 

July 11th. Another fine day. At sunrise the battery was hitched 
up and remained harnessed until nine a. jvi., when orders were given 
to take the horses to water, but before the drivers could get their 
horses unhitched and into line they were ordered to hitch up again, 
and at 9.30 Battery B left camp, moving down on the left it crossed the 
Jerusalem Plank road, and going on about half a mile halted at the 
right of the country road on rising ground. We moved forward and 
placing the pieces in battery in the breastworks bivouacked. The 
horses were taken to water later in the afternoon. All was quiet 
throughout the night. The detached men of the Fifteenth Massa- 
chusetts were relieved from duty, and sent to the regiment to be mus- 
tered out of service, their time (three years) having expired. 

On the 12th, at sunrise, the battery, with the First Brigade under 
General Miles, moved down to the left in support of the cavalry, 
which had been sent out on a reconnaissance to the Weldon Railroad. 
We advanced about three miles and took position on the brow of a 
hill overlooking the plains toward the railroad. Here the battery 
went into bivouac awaiting orders. In the afternoon our ration 
wagon came out to us and rations were issued. They were to have 
been issued the afternoon before, but having been on the move since 
yesterday morning the wagon could not get to us, and now did not 
remain long, but returned to the trains at the rear. Toward mid- 
night the cavalry began to return and reported all quiet on the left. 
This last move had been made upon the report that the rebels, under 
Gen. A. P. Hill, were moving down on our left flank to give us a 
surprise. At midnight the battery limbered up and started on the 
march back, and after crossing the Jerusalem Plank road halted until 
daylight. 

At sunrise the battery was ordered to move up toward the right of 
the line. We had expected that we were going to City Point on the 
James River. After crossing the Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad 
we turned to the left and moved up toward the intrench me nts in 
front of Petersburg. On reaching the Norfolk pike the battery went 
into camp in the woods on a ridge to the right of the road, the in- 
fantry moved further on to the plains in front. While the battery 
and the First Brigade were down to the left on a reconnaissance, the 



1864.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 309 

Second Corps had been withdrawn from the intrenchments, and had 
gone into camp behind the Fifth Corps. General Hancock made his 
headquarters in the shot-riddled mansion on the Petersburg and Nor- 
folk town road known as " The Deserted House." Here the troops 
of the Second were destined to remain and rest undisturbed for more 
than a fortnight. 

July 14th. Reveille at sunrise. After morning roll-call the can- 
noneers were set to work clearing a space, about two hundred by one 
hundred and fifty yards square, of brush, briers, and small trees, 
leaving the larger ones for shade. This was called the " parade," 
where the men formed in line for roll-calls or to receive or hear or- 
ders read. On the east side the officers' tents were pitched, while on 
the west were the men's formed in two rows with an arbor of pine 
boughs erected over them. At the north and in front of the ridge 
was level clear ground, upon which the pieces and caissons were 
parked. Here the drivers erected poles on crotches placed in the 
ground in front of the limbers on which the harnesses were hung. 
At the south of the camp the ground sloped to a hollow or small 
ravine, in which were many tall pine trees, and by the thrifty ap- 
pearance of these it was thought a good locality in which. to dig a 
well as water was still scarce in the vicinity of the camp. The driv- 
ers went to work and dug a circular hole, eight feet in diameter and 
about ten feet deep. When it was brought to the depth of seven feet 
there was a squad of men who kept the water down by bailing it out 
with pails. In this way it was sunk until there was three feet of 
water in the well, and then it was covered first with logs then boughs 
of pine, and then the clay which had been dug out was packed on top. 
There was a hole four feet square left in the centre, and with the use 
of a prolonge attached to a pail the water could readily be obtained, 
which proved to be very clear, cool, and plentiful, so that we used it 
for watering the horses, instead of going with them one and a half 
miles to a small creek. 

On the loth, in the afternoon, the drivers of the baggage wagons, 
Welcome Collins and Robert A. Niles, brought to camp a watering 
trough about eight feet long, for the use of the horses ; its use was 
very convenient as it did not take so long to water them, and kept the 
ground dryer and cleaner around the well. Yesterday Battery A 
arrived and encamped on the ridge to the west of us, and to-day they 
were busy making their camp comfortable. It was very pleasant to 
have friends and acquaintances, or men from the same town as your- 



310 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [July, 

self for neighbors, to talk over old times, and to converse on matters 
in which all were mutually interested. 

July 20th. For the past few days the weather had been fine, but 
the roads being dry and dusty we hailed with delight the frequent 
showers which visited us, for they cooled the air giving us a fresh 
breathing spell. Our time was spent in repairing equipments, clean- 
ing and oiling the harnesses, shoeing the horses, and performing gen- 
eral camp duties, and last if not least, eating, drinking, sleeping, 
and growing fat and lazy, for we artillerymen did not have any of 
the fatigue duty to perform during the siege operations that were 
going on. The battery remained quietly in camp recruiting both in 
health and strength, as well as in numbers. Nothing of importance 
occurred until the afternoon of the 25th when Captain Brown re- 
ceived orders to prepare for light marching. Then activity began 
again. Five days' rations for men and horses were packed on the 
caissons, all surplus baggage put into the wagons, and all equipments- 
put in their proper places. 

On the 26th, reveille was sounded at 4.30 a. m., and after the 
usual morning duties were performed three days' rations were issued 
to the men to be carried in the haversacks. At two o'clock p. M. 
the battery was hitched up ready for the move. But it was four 
before Ave pulled out of park and left camp, and moving up toward the 
right of line crossed the City Point and Petersburg Railroad, and 
going in a northeasterly direction to the Appomattox River, crossed 
at Point of Rocks on pontoon bridges guarded by the cavalry. 
Pushing forward with the infantry the battery arrived on the bank 
of the James at 2.30 on the morning of the 27th, and halted for the 
infantry to cross. After the First Division of infantry had crossed, 
the battery then moved down to the pontoon and crossing the 
river proceeded up to Deep Bottom. The advancing column met 
the rebels in force behind some breastworks on the New Market 
and Malvern Hill road, where they became sharply engaged and re- 
enforcements were sent forward to rout the enemy. Battery B was 
also sent forward, and, after taking position on a hill behind the 
line of battle, opened on a rebel battery with solid shot and spherical 
case. A few shot from the enemy's guns passed through the battery 
between the pieces, while others went wild, going high in the air. 
We, however, by a careful and well-directed fire, landed our shot 
directly in the midst of the rebel battery making it rather uncomfort- 
able for them and their position untenable. As they limbered up 




Deep Bottom, July 27-29, 1864. 



1864.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 311 

and galloped to the rear on the double-quick we fired a parting 
salute. During this time General Barlow's skirmish line had been 
steadily advancing against the breastworks along the New Market 
road. The enemy's intrenchments were held by both infantry and 
artillery, but so spirited was the advance, and so skillful were the 
dispositions made, that the works were actually carried by the skirm- 
ishers alone. Some prisoners were taken, though the retreat of the 
Confederates was too hasty to allow of many captures ; but, never- 
theless, four splendid twenty-pound Parrotts with limbers and caissons 
became the trophies captured in the brilliant charge of our skir- 
mishers. Our men knew the ten-pounder Parrotts by their shells, 
but twenty-pounder Parrotts seemed altogether different, and, as 
these great engines of war were one after another hauled out of the 
enemy's works and brought down the road on the run, they were 
greeted with loud cheers, and regarded as a full compensation for 
those four twelve-pounder Napoleons, of Captain McKnight's Twelfth 
New York Battery, lost on the 22d. 

So fortunate a beginning promised a successful day. The troops 
of General Gibbon's division were thrown forward in pursuit of the 
retreating enemy, who withdrew behind Bailey's Creek. When, how- 
ever, our advance reached the creek, the Confederates were found 
in well constructed works, apparently well manned and covered 
with abattis. The position as developed was one of great natural 
strength, the creek itself being an obstacle that could not be passed 
by a line of battle, which indicated that the termination of an assault 
would be doubtful, hence no attempt was made to charge the enemy's 
works ; instead everything was bent to turning its left flank if possi- 
ble. 

The cavalry had come up, and gained, by several spirited charges, 
some high ground on the right, and infantry was sent to its support 
to hold the position gained. While General Gibbon's division held 
the front, Mott's and Barlow's divisions were moved up to the right 
to operate with the cavalry. At noon Battery B limbered up and 
moved out on the right to the infantry line of battle, and took po- 
sitions in its rear placing the pieces in battery on an open level plain. 
The infantry of the division (General Barlow's) made a vigorous re- 
connaissance to the right ; it did not succeed in finding the extreme 
flank of the enemy, but did discover that its flank bent sharply toward 
its rear at Fussell's Mill, and had been largely reenforced. At night 
the troops bivouacked in line on the field. 



312 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [July, 

On the 28th, at daybreak, reveille was sounded by a sharp picket 
fire on our right and front. Our men were ordered to their posts at 
the pieces, expecting an outbreak or advance of the Confederates, 
but the firing did not extend along the line down to us, it being only 
against the advanced cavalry, which was driven from the ridge upon 
which it was posted. Dismounting his men, General Sheridan met 
the enemy's charge with stubborn resistance, and driving the rebels 
back captured over two hundred prisoners and reoccupied his posi- 
tion on the ridge. Battery B remained quietly in position all day 
watching the enemy's lines. At night the horses were unharnessed 
and taken to water of which they were greatly in need, not having 
had any since the evening before. 

On the 29th, at an early hour in the morning, Battery B was or- 
dered out to the front line toward the Charles City road, and took 
position in an open plain on rising ground overlooking a small ravine ; 
beyond this was an extensive cornfield and still further a wooded 
ridge. Everything was quiet about the battery, and the day being 
warm the men were lying idly about the pieces and limbers in what 
shade they could find, thinking no doubt of the five months' pay due 
them, when their reveries were disturbed by a sharp report and a shell 
burst over their heads. Instantly everyone was on his feet and 
quickly came the order from Captain Brown: "Attention — can- 
noneers to your posts " (the men were already there), followed by 
orders to commence firing with solid shot and spherical case, and 
right lively did those pieces, under willing hands, belch forth in angry 
tones a reply to the challenge of the rebel battery that was in posi- 
tion on the ridge beyond the cornfield. A spirited fire was kept up 
for some minutes, when the rebels were seen to limber up and scat- 
ter out of sight, pursued by shots from our guns. This was the 
second rebel battery that had withdrawn from the fire of Battery B 
since we had crossed to the north side of the James, the cause of 
which could only be conjectured. Each time during the duel both 
batteries were without any earthwork protection and in plain sight of 
each other. While the shot and shell of the rebels did us no mate- 
rial damage, our shell, by carefully handling the guns, was landed and 
burst directly in their midst. Although Battery B was all the time 
at the front in the main lines of battle and under fire during General 
Hancock's demonstrations along Bailey's Creek north of Deep Bot- 
tom, we had no casualties from the enemy's fire. 

On the 29th, at sunset, Captain Brown received orders to withdraw 



1864.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 313 

Battery B from the battle line, and at once gave orders to quietly 
limber to the rear. Going by left piece into column we withdrew to 
the road by which we had advanced, and followed the Second Divis- 
ion (General Gibbon's) back to the James River which we crossed at 
midnight. We kept on the move until we had crossed the City 
Point and Petersburg Railroad, when we halted in a grove of pines 
on the south side, and went into park at three o'clock in the morning 
and bivouacked. The men tired and weary threw themselves upon 
the ground rolled up in their blankets hoping to get a few hours 
sleep. They were doomed to disappointment, however, for about 
four o'clock all were startled by a loud " boom" which shook the 
very foundation of the earth. Instantly every one was upon his 
feet, and speculation ran wild. What was it, an earthquake or the 
firing of Burnside's mine, which had so unceremoniously aroused us 
from our needed slumber? Oh, no! it was only the report of the 
railroad mortar ; the squad in charge was sending its morning's 
greeting into Petersburg in the shape of a 100-pound shell. As 
there was no reply it was not known how the salute was appreciated. 
A few minutes past five o'clock, however, a terrific souud like great 
peals of thunder burst forth upon the morning air, the ground heaved 
and trembled, and toward the front lines could be seen huge masses 
of earth thrown high in the air mingled with cannons, garrison equi- 
page, and human bodies. It seemed like a volcanic eruption, a 
mountain enveloped in clouds of smoke, sand, and dust. It was, 
however, the explosion of tons of powder in what was known as 
" Burnside's Mine." After the smoke and dust had subsided it was 
found that a pit 170 feet long, sixty feet wide, and from twenty to 
thirty feet deep, was all that remained of the enemy's great fort at 
Elliott's salient, which had had a battery of six guns and a garrison 
of over two hundred men. 

No sooner had the sound of this explosion reached the ears of our 
artillery commanders than they opened fire with nearly two hundred 
guns and mortars from the front lines. It was a scene never to be 
forgotten by those fortunate enough to witness it, and beggared des- 
cription. The effect upon the rebel troops was astounding; to the 
right and left they fled through fear of other explosions which they 
expected would follow. Had our troops promptly advanced, as or- 
dered, they would no doubt have reached the crest of the hill with 
little or no opposition. At this time Battery B was, with the other 
batteries of the corps, held in reserve at supporting distance, and 



314 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [July r 

would have been sent forward had occasion required. From a hill in 
front of the battery's camp a fair view of the enemy's works about 
the mine could be obtained, and many went to inspect the scene. 

July 30th. Battery B remained parked near the railroad all day 
with other batteries of the Artillery Brigade ; the infantry had been 
sent to the front in support of those troops who were to make the 
charge on the enemy's works after the explosion of the mine. The 
batterymen passed the forenoon in watching the gun detachment 
load and fire the railroad mortar. To us it was a novel sight, 
we knew the workings of light artillery in every detail, but knew 
little about the handling of heavy ordnance and of mortars espe- 
cially, as we had had no practice with them. This 'mortar was 
mounted on a large open flat car, the floor of which had been 
strengthened with railroad iron. In loading a very short sponge 
staff was used, to which was attached at one end a rammer head ; 
after first swabbing out the mortar, the charge, thirty-five pounds of 
powder, was inserted and rammed down, then four men, by means 
of a pair of tongs made for the purpose, lifted the shell and placed 
it in the muzzle of the mortar ; ihen a sharp pointed wire was in- 
serted into the vent to make a hole in the cartridge bag, and next the 
primer was inserted into the hole, to which the lanyard was attached by 
means of a hook to the looped wire in the top of the primer tube. At 
the command of — " Ready ! " the man drew the lanyard tight, and at 
the command — " Fire ! " gave the lanyard a quick pull by throwing 
his hand and arm down behind him. This drew out the wire in the 
primer causing a friction, which ignited the powder in the tube and 
cartridge, and boom would ring out from the mouth of the mortar, 
sending on its aerial flight the messengers of death arid destruction. 

At one o'clock the assembly call was sounded and the men formed 
into line, remarking to each other, "What's up?" "What's in 
the wind now?" To these and similar questions, no satisfactory 
answers could be given. For once Dame Rumor was caught nap- 
ping, and we were forced to await further developments. 

As the line was forming First Sergeant Hanson ordered the non- 
commissioned officers to form on the right of the line, and when thus 
formed gave the order : " Right face, forward — march ! " Going to 
the officers' quarters we were made happy by receiving a ration of 
greenbacks from Uncle Sam. The. battery was paid, by Major Webb, 
for the months of March, April, May, and June. We much re- 
gretted the absence of the sutlers, as we would willingly have parted 



1864.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 315 

with our hard earned scrip, paying one dollar a pound for butter, fifty 
cents for cheese, twenty-five cents a dozen for molasses cookies, and 
other luxuries at corresponding prices. 

Sunday, July 31st. Reveille at sunrise. The weather was warm 
but pleasant, and, after the usual morning duties, Captain Brown 
received orders to return to the camp he had left on the 26th. At 
nine o'clock we took up the line of march back to the left. On arriv- 
ing at his old camp Captain Brown found it occupied by a part of the 
ambulance corps of the Second Corps. After parking the pieces and 
caissons in the places they had formerly occupied, orders were 
given to unhitch and unharness, and then our captain went to see the 
officer in command of the ambulances about evacuating the bat- 
tery's camp. At first the officer did not seem inclined to vacate, but, 
after a short conversation with Captain Brown, finally gave orders to 
his men to hitch up, and they moved out leaving the vicinity. It was 
well for them that they left before the wrath of our drivers found 
vent. 

The appearance of our camp was forlorn, it looked as if a 
cyclone had struck it. The arbors which had covered the men's tents 
were laid flat and heaps of rubbish covered the parade, while the 
well, which the drivers had taken so much care to keep clean, was 
now a sight to behold, for the ambulance drivers had washed their 
teams so near that the ground around it was all soft and muddy, 
making the water in the well unfit to drink. There was no help for 
it now but to try and repair damages, and the men went to work 
cleaning and putting the camp in order, rebuilding the arbors and 
pitching their tents. By sunset the camp was made quite respectable 
again. It had commenced raining late in the afternoon, causing the 
men to hurry and get their tents set up, securing them to stakes 
firmly driven into the ground. Those who did not take this precau- 
tion had the pleasure of setting them up again, for at night a terrible 
rain-storm burst over us, the rain falling in torrents for some minutes ; 
then it cleared off pleasant and warm for the remainder of the night. 

August 1st. Reveille at sunrise. After the usual morning duties 
the men were kept busy in finishing the work of putting the camp in 
proper order, and, as the water in our well did not settle clearly, ar- 
rangements were made with Battery A (our next door neighbor) to 
get water from their well for culinary and drinking purposes. They 
in return obtained water for their horses from our well, which re- 
lieved them of the necessity of going a longdistance for water. Bat- 



316 HISTORY OF BATTEKY B, [AllgUSt, 

tery A, First Rhode Island Light Artillery, was encamped at the 
right of Battery B along the same ridge, and had dug a well twenty- 
five feet deep, rigging a well sweep to the crotch of a tree set for 
the purpose, and a pole and rope with bucket attached. The water 
was cool, clear, and sparkling. 

From the 1st to the 12th of August Battery B remained encamped 
on the ridge near the Norfolk town road. The time was occupied 
in drilling new recruits, a number having been received to take the 
places of those infantrymen who had been returned to their regiment, 
their term of service having expired. Only a few incidents of im- 
portance occurred during this time. 

On the 4th, the battery horses were inspected and a number of un- 
serviceable ones were condemned by Captain Miller, and turned in to 
the quartermaster's department. On the 5th, the battery received 
six new horses to replace them. 

Late in the afternoon of the 9th, we were startled by the report 
of what was thought to be heavy firing upon the right, but we learned 
later that a large barge loaded with ammunition, while being 
unloaded at the wharf at City Point had blown up, killing and 
wounding 175 of the colored troops who were performing the work 
of unloading the supplies for the army. It was thought, at the time, 
that General Butler's troops were being attacked by the Confederates 
at Dutch Gap. 

On the 10th and 11th of August, the battery clerk, William J. 
Kenyon, was busy making out the muster rolls and discharges of 
the men whose three years' term of service was about to expire. 

Friday, August 12th. The day was pleasant and warm. Just 
before noon Captain Brown received orders to have his battery ready 
to march at a moment's notice. At twelve o'clock noon, " Boots and 
saddles " call was sounded. The horses were harnessed and the 
battery was soon hitched up. The cannoneers were ordered by de- 
tachments in line in rear of the pieces. Artificers and spare men 
formed in line on the left of the battery wagon, in charge of First 
Sergt. John F. Hanson. 

Capt. T. Fred. Brown then rode out in front of the battery, and 
gave the orders of : " At-ten-tion — drivers — mount!" Upon these 
orders being given the chiefs of sections, First Lieut. James F,. 
Chace of the right, and Second Lieut. Gideon Spencer of the left, 
and chiefs of detachments, Sergt. Charles H. Adams of the first, 
Sergt. John II. Rhodes of the second, Sergt. Edwin A. Chase of 



1864.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 317 

the third, and Sergt. Pardon S. Walker of the fourth, took their 
respective stations. Then Captain Brown ordered : "Attention!" 
and read an order which formally relieved those whose term of service 
had expired, and appointed other men to fill the offices left vacant. 
The following were those who were relieved to be mustered out of 
the service of the United States, viz. : First Sergt. John F. Han- 
son ; Quartermaster-Sergt. Charles A. Libbey ; Line Sergts. Edwin 
A. Chase, John H. Rhodes, and Pardon S. Walker; Corporals 
Stillman H. Budlong, John Delevan, Josiah McMeekin, John B. 
Mowry, Charles H. Paine, Charles B. Worthington, and Edward B. 
Whipple; Artificers: William H. Cornell, blacksmith; Edwin M. 
Peckham, saddler ; Albert H. Cornell and James A. Sweet, wheel- 
wrights ; Privates Mowry L. Andrews, John A. Arnold, Russell 
Austin, Arthur W. Brickley, Allen Burt, Napoleon B. Clarke, 
Stephen Collins, Welcome Collins, Charles Cornell, Levi J. Cornell, 
Michael Duffy, Richard H. Gallup, Edward Howard, John Kendrick, 
Robert A. Laird, George R. Matteson, Henry A. Mason, Nelson B. 
V. Maine, Robert A. Niles, David Phetteplace, William B. Reming- 
ton, Charles G. Sprague, Clark L. Woodmansee, and Albert J. 
Whipple. 

Besides these there were a number absent in the hospitals, and 
others transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps who were discharged 
at the same time. 

The following were those promoted to fill the vacancies of the 
non-commissioned officers, viz. : Sergt. Charles H. Adams, to first 
sergeant ; Sergt. Anthony B. Horton, to quartermaster-sergeant ; 
Corp. Charles J. Rider,, to first duty sergeant ; Corp. Calvin L. 
Macomber, to second sergeant ; Corp. Aborn W. Carter, to third 
sergeant ; and Corp. John Fox, a detached man, acting sergeant; 
Privates Patrick Brady, Samuel H. Collington, William Maxcy and 
Francis Priestly were promoted to corporals. The gun detachments 
were then reorganized and drivers appointed. Then Captain Brown 
gave orders to unhitch, unharness, and prepare for light marching. 
The men who had been relieved on returning to their quarters 
packed their luggage and prepared for the march to City Point. 

To the batterymen three days' rations were issued, and five 
more packed on the caissons with five days' rations of grain for the 
horses. To the men who had been relieved one day's ration of 
hard-tack was issued. The officers' tents were struck and packed in 
the baggage wagon along with the other battery baggage, the shelter 



318 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [AllgUSt, 

tents of the men were struck and rolled and packed with their blank- 
ets, while the blankets of the cannoneers were carried on the foot 
boards of the gun limbers and caissons, and those of the drivers 
were strapped to the rear of their saddles. The canteens and haver- 
sacks were carried by the men slung from their shoulders. 

At four o'clock p. m. the assembly call was sounded and the re- 
lieved men were ordered to fall into line, and, as their names were 
called, they were given their discharge papers, which showed they 
had been lawfully relieved from the service of the United States. 

The discharge papers, which the men received, had not been 
signed by the commissary of musters, Capt. E. B. Brownson. This 
was known to Captain Brown, but as the battery was to move with 
the corps on another expedition to Deep Bottom, he thought it best 
to give the papers to the men rather than to keep them in his posses- 
sion until they could be sent to headquarters, for there was a possible 
chance of getting them signed at City Point. 

At five o'clock "Boots and saddles" call was sounded. The 
battery was hitched up and remained in park awaiting orders. While 
waiting the men filled their canteens with water from the well in 
Battery A's camp. ( Our camp was not destroyed, as it was not 
known whether the battery would return or not. At six o'clock 
the order was given : " By piece from the right — forward into 
column — march ! " Battery B moved out of park and left its camp, 
marching north by the same road it had traveled to Deep Bottom 
on the 26th of July. At midnight it crossed the Appomatox River 
at Point of Rocks on the pontoon bridge, and marched until morn- 
ing when it halted and bivouacked on Jones's Neck near the James. 

As the Artillery Brigade of the Second Corps moved toward the 
Point of Rocks, the infantry was moving down toward City Point, 
followed by the baggage and supply trains. As the squad of dis- 
charged men left camp with the battery, many placed their roll of 
blankets in the baggage wagons, saving themselves the trouble of 
carrying them. A few of the favored ones were allowed to ride (the 
writer being one) while the rest footed it, all moving in the direction 
of City Point, marching nearly all night, at least those with the wag- 
ons. We halted at three A. M., when a short distance from the river, 
and had a good sleep until sunrise on the morning of the 13th. As 
the wagons were not going any further the travelers bade their com- 
rades, the drivers, good-bye, and resumed the march to the Point on 
foot. On arriving there they went to the provost marshal's office, 



1864.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 319 

at the head of the wharf, to get permission to leave the lines of the 
army, as no one could leave without being arrested as a deserter un- 
less such permission was obtained. It was not time for the officer 
to be at the office so we could do nothing but wait. At nine o'clock 
the provost marshal put in an appearance, but, on presenting our 
discharges he shook his head saying : " No good." Our papers had 
not been signed by the commissary of musters of the corps to which 
we had been attached, and his signature must be affixed to the 
discharge papers before the provost marshal would grant us permis- 
sion to leave. We were surely in a dilemma now. Quartermaster- 
sergeant Charles A. Libbey, on learning of the trouble, came to the 
rescue, having been on duty (by request) with the trains last night 
he still had his horse, not having sent it back to headquarters, 
and said : " Give me all your discharges and I will go back and get 
them signed." As this was the best thing that could be done, the 
papers were soon in his possession and away he galloped to where the 
infantry of the Second Corps had halted, and inquired for corps 
headquarters.. After considerable trouble and inquiry he finally suc- 
ceeded in finding the person he was in search of, and made known his 
object. Capt. E. B. Brownson, upon learning Sergeant Libbey's 
errand said: "Certainly," and, seating himself beside the road, 
then and there affixed his signature to each of the discharge 
papers. Sergeant Libbey upon receiving them thanked the cap- 
tain for the courtesy shown, and hastened to return to the Point. 
To those awaiting his return the time passed all too slowly. Would 
he return in time for the mail boat which would leave at ten o'clock, 
and was now due in fifteen minutes? The suspense began to increase 
as the time passed, and still the sergeant failed to appear. The 
steamer's bell began to ring, warning us that the boat was about to 
leave. Our one thought was, would it sail without us? It looked 
very much as though it would ; and that meant a wait of twenty-four 
hours on the wharf, until ten o'clock the next clay. As the first bell 
ceased ringing, there came a shout from those watching, and — 
"Here he comes ! Here he comes ! " Looking up the road leading 
from the wharf the sergeant was seen with his horse on the dead run. 
Arriving at the provost marshal's office he sprang from his horse 
(which one of the comrades grabbed by the bridle) and rushed into 
the office presenting the papers to the marshal. Then the routine of 
examining the discharges commenced, but, by the courtesy and con- 
sideration of that officer, who took in the situation, they were ap- 



320 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [August, 

proved in double-quick order, and returned to the men, who made 
for the boat as fast as their legs could carry them. The bell of the 
steamer was tolling, and the captain was giving orders for casting off. 
The men on a run made for the gangway, and passed on to the 
steamer as the sailors were about to draw the gang-plank on board. 
And thus, after intense suspense and excitement, the discharged men 
of Battery B, First Rhode Island Light Artillery, were safely em- 
barked on board the mail boat Charlotte Vanderhilt bound for Wash- 
ington, D. C, on their way home. 

It was five minutes past ten o'clock before the steamer left the 
wharf and that five minutes' delay was favorable to us, and we 
appreciated it. We were not allowed to go up on the upper deck 
as we desired, but had to remain between decks abaft of the main 
shaft. Through the windows, however, in the side of the boat 
glimpses of the Virginian shore could be had as the steamer sailed 
along winding her way down the James River. We passed Harri- 
son's Landing, where we had encamped through the month of July 
and part of August, 1862, under General McClellan. Further down 
we passed Windmill Point, where the Army of the Potomac had 
crossed the river in June, and then we passed the mouth of the Chicka- 
homiuy. Here the river began to widen to twice its width at City 
Point. On nearing the flats between Jamestown Island and Hog 
Island the steamer ran very slowly, but after passing the flats her 
speed was increased and we began to run at a lively rate. Passing 
Newport News we entered Hampton Roads, where the duel was 
fought between the famous Yankee cheese-box, the Monitor^ and 
the rebel ram Merrimac. On passing Fortress Monroe, at Old Point 
Comfort, the steamer entered Chesapeake Bay ; sailing along we 
viewed the distant shore and calm water, and our thoughts went back' 
to the time of our withdrawal from the Peninsular Campaign in Au- 
gust, 1862. Then our passage up the bay was made in a rain-storm, 
and the angry sea lashed our frail crafts as if eager for their de- 
struction ; but now there was only a slight ripple on the water's 
mirror-like surface, offering no resistance to the steamer which was 
bearing us on our homeward journey. Darkness soon veiled from 
our view the Virginian shore, and shut out the surrounding scenes. 
We lay on the deck rolled in our blankets to sleep and dream of our 
friends at home or our comrades left behind. 

At daybreak, on the 14th, we were up and stirring about our lim- 
ited quarters on the steamer. We borrowed a pail from one of the 



1864.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 321 

sailors, and gave our face and hands a salt water bath which was 
quite refreshing, after which, for want of some better occupation, we 
viewed the distant shores along the river. The passage up the Po- 
tomac was not distinguished by any extraordinary occurrence. We 
passed Mount Vernon, Fort Washington, Alexandria, and arrived 
at the wharf on Water street, near the foot of Seventh Street, Wash- 
ington, at seven o'clock a. m. We immediately disembarked, and, 
under guidance of a friend, were piloted to the rooms of the Sani- 
tary Commission. Here we were permitted to finish our morning 
toilet, and fully improved the opportunity, brushing our clothes, 
blacking boots, and combing our hair. The washing of our faces 
and hands, and drying them on nice, new, clean towels two yards 
long, was a luxury to many, for at the front we were fortunate if 
we had a piece of a grain sack. After finishing our toilet we were 
each given a pocket handkerchief by the person in charge of the 
Sanitary Rooms. Probably by the appearance of some of us he 
thought we were in need of such articles. 

It being Sunday and not wishing to be encumbered with our knap- 
sacks we were permitted to leave them in one of the rooms. There 
were no accommodations for board and lodgings at the Sanitary 
Rooms, so we thanked those in charge for the courtesy shown us, 
and left to seek such accommodations as suited us. Many went to 
the Willard Hotel, while others, not so "high-toned," sought rooms 
where charges were less exorbitant. After securing quarters many 
of us took a stroll about the city. 

On the morning of the loth, at nine o'clock, the men assembled 
(as agreed upon) at the rooms of the Sanitary Commission, and at 
ten o'clock went to the Treasury Department, where, after a little 
delay, we received our pay for the month of July and twelve days 
of August. To those who had not overdrawn their allowance for 
clothing (forty-two dollars per year) was paid the balance of the 
amount ; but those who had overdrawn had the amount for clothing 
deducted from their monthly pay. We also received the one hun- 
dred dollars bounty promised at the expiration of our term of ser- 
vice. Instead of giving us free transportation to Rhode Island, we 
were paid mileage, receiving about twenty-six dollars. As each re- 
ceived the greenbacks and shinplasters (as the fractional currency 
was called) which squared his account with Uncle Sam, his dis- 
charge paper was stamped with a circular stamp, viz. : " Paid in 
full. Washington, D. C, Aug. 15, 1864. C. Taylor, Paymaster. 
U. S. A." 



322 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [August, 

After receiving our money we returned to the rooms of the Sani- 
tary Commission, where many of us bought tickets for Providence, 
R. I., at a discount from regular railroad prices. Taking our bag- 
gage we went to the Adams Express office to have it forwarded 
home. On finding that it would be cheaper to send it collectively, 
Comrade Welcome Collins procured a large dry-goods box, into 
which we packed our knapsacks, haversacks, canteens, and blankets. 
This box was sent to Providence, R. I., from Washington, D. C, 
at a cost of six dollars. 

At six o'clock p. m., on the loth, we boarded the train at the 
Baltimore and Ohio station for the north, and traveling all night 
passed through Baltimore and Philadelphia, arriving at Jersey City 
about six a. m. on the 16th. Here we left the cars, and embarking 
on-a ferry boat crossed the Hudson River landing at Courtland Street, 
New York City. Disembarking we took an omnibus which carried 
us to the railroad station at Forty-second Street, arriving there at 
seven o'clock. At eight o'clock we boarded the Shore Line train of 
the New York and New Haven Railroad for Providence, R. I., and 
arrived in that city at four p. m., after an absence of three years. 
As we alighted from the cars, the veterans scrutinized the throng of 
•people passing to and fro with anxious eyes, hoping some dear friends 
might be waiting to receive them. The time of our arrival had not 
been made known to the State officials and consequently there was 
no formal reception. By request t lie writer reported on arrival to 
the Governor, Hon. James Y. Smith, who said he felt sorry that he 
had not been informed in time to prepare a reception for us ; how- 
ever, if we would meet at the station on the following morning at 
nine o'clock we should have a formal welcome. This information 
being imparted to the veterans they said they would be on hand. 

On Wednesday morning, August 17th, at the appointed hour, the 
veterans of Batteries A and B, First Rhode Island Light Artillery, 
who had returned from the service, were received at the railroad sta- 
tion, Exchange Place, by the Mechanics Rifles, Col. Stephen C. 
Arnold, and, with a drum band, were escorted to the armory of the 
Marine Corps of Artillery on Benefit Street, where the veterans were 
pleasantly welcomed in behalf of the State by His Honor Lieut. 
Gov. Seth Padelford, Brig. Gen. W. W. Paine, and others. We 
were entertained by a few pleasant remarks, and a collation, pre- 
pared by L. H. Humphreys, was then partaken of with a hearty zest 
by the veterans and their escorts. 



1864.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 323 



CHAPTER XXII. 



SECOND EXPEDITION OF DEEP BOTTOM— BATTLE 
OF REAMS'S STATION. 

THE veterans having arrived safely in Providence, R. I., we 
will now return to Battery B which we left encamped on the 
James River, at Jones's Neck, with the other batteries of the 
brigade on the morning of August 13th, awaiting the arrival of the 
infantry which had proceeded to City Point, where it had taken 
steamers and other transports and sailed down the James, to create 
the impression upon the Confederates, who were certain to learn of 
the movement, that the corps was bound for Washington to resist 
Early. Under cover of night, however, the steamers and transports 
were to return up the James (sixteen miles above City Point) to 
Deep Bottom, there make a landing, and after rapidly debarking press 
up the several roads to Richmond ; thus making the second attempt 
to turn the enemy's line on Bailey's Creek. 

But while the Second Corps was effecting by elaborate operation 
a surprise of the enemy at this point, it was not to act alone. Gen- 
eral Gregg's division of cavalry, followed by his artillery and trains, 
had moved by way of Point of Rocks on the Appomattox, and with 
the Tenth Corps, General Birney's, at Deep Bottom were all placed 
under General Hancock's command. 

While the second expedition to Bailey's Creek was transpiring 
Battery B remained encamped on the south side of the James. 

Sunday, August 14th. At noon the battery was ordered to hitch 
up and left camp, and marching about a mile toward the crossing 
halted. After waiting about an hour Captain Brown received orders 
to return to the camp near the river, where we arrived about four 
o'clock and parked. The tents were soon pitched again, and by sun- 



324 HISTORY OF BATTERT B, [August, 

set no one would have thought by the appearance of the camp that 
the battery had been out of it. 

On the 16th, Lieut. John T. Blake, of Battery A, reported to 
Captain Brown with sixty-four men for duty. Lieut. W. S. Perrin, 
commanding Battery A, received orders on the 15th to turn in the 
battery to the ordnance department at City Point ; the horses to the 
quartermaster of the Artillery Brigade of the Second Corps, and the 
men to Battery B. Their names appear in the accompanying roster. 

On the 17th, the gun detachments were reorganized, and the men 
from Battery A were mostly assigned to the left section. Rations 
were then issued, the gun equipments inspected, and also the horses, 
three of which were condemned, and ordered to be turned in as unfit 
for further service. 

On the 18th, our senior First Lieut. William S. Perrin, who had 
been on detached service, commanding Battery A, returned to Bat- 
tery B for duty. 

On the 19th, Lieut. John T. Blake, by his own request, was mus- 
tered out of service, and, bidding us an adieu, left for Rhode Island. 

On the 20th, at reveille it rained quite hard, and, as it had been rain- 
ing all night, the air was very chilly. The men were kept busy trying 
to light fires from well soaked wood ; not an impossibility, for little 
fires soon grew larger and were seen to spring up here and there 
about the camp. In the afternoon Captain Brown received orders 
to be in readiness to move at a moment's notice. The tents Avere 
struck, battery equipments and baggage were soon packed, and at 
sunset the battery hitched up and moved back to its old camp in rear 
of Petersburg, where we arrived about nine o'clock and parked. 

On the 21st, when reveille was sounded heavy firing was heard 
down on the left. There was no Sunday morning inspection, but in- 
stead orders were given to prepare for a move. The battery was soon 
under marching orders, and at nine o'clock moved near to Second 
Division headquarters and parked. The Artillery Brigade was here 
massed and awaiting orders. Maj. John G. Hazard, having returned 
from Rhode Island, resumed command of the Artillery Brigade. He 
brought with him four recruits for Battery B, Joseph Fisher, Sam- 
uel H. Greene, Patrick Kelly, and Charles Stephens. These were 
assigned to the right section. Three days' rations were issued to the 
men, and other preparations were made for a movement down to- 
ward the left of line. 

On the 22d, at sunrise, things looked lively, the infantry was on 



1864.} FIRST RHODI-] ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 



125 



the move bright and early. At 9.30 "Boots and saddles " call 
sounded, the battery packed and hitched up, and at ten o'clock moved 
out into the road taking up the line of march with the Artillery 
Brigade toward the left. After passing the Jones house on the Je- 
rusalem Plank road we halted and went into park on the right of the 
road. Here Capt. T. Fred. Brown left his command, having been 
ordered home to Rhode Island on recruiting service. The battery 
was turned over to First Lieut. William S. Pen-in, upon Captain 
Brown leaving for City Point. 

There was a hard shower in the evening, and most of the men 
were wet through, especially those who had not pitched their shelter 
tents. Many thought they would risk lying under the tarpaulins of 
the pieces and caissons, and had the usual experience of being com- 
pletely drenched. 

On the 23d, there was battery inspection by Lieut. W. S. Perrin, 
the right section being in command of Lieut. James E. Chace, and 
the left section, under Lieut. Gideon Spencer. After inspection the 
men spread their blankets and clothing out in the hot sunshine to dry. 
In the afternoon the battery received marching orders from General 
Gibbon to follow his division as soon as it should move. Embodied 
in this order were instructions to have all corps or state insignia re- 
moved from hats, caps, and clothing, so, if captured, the enemy 
could not tell to which corps of the army the prisoner belonged ; and 
also to prevent the enemy from learning that the Second Corps was 
down on the left of the line, instead of being up on the right in the 
intrenchments in front of Petersburg. 

At six o'clock the battery left camp and moved down the Jerusa- 
lem Plank road. On arriving at Shay's Tavern the column turned 
to the right moving toward the Weldon Railroad. On the way we 
passed two pieces and a caisson which were stalled in dry quick- 
sand, blocking the road and causing slow progress. At ten p. jr. the 
battery halted and parked. At midnight Lieutenant Perrin received 
orders to move to Reatns's Station (twelve miles south of Peters- 
burg) and report to General Miles (First Division). The battery, 
proceeding alone, had not marched far before it found the road blocked 
by fallen trees, which the enemy had cut in order to retard the ap- 
proach of our troops on its flank. After some delay a road was cut 
and cleared, and the battery proceeded on its way, arriving at the 
station a little before three o'clock on the morning of the 24th. 
Lieutenant Spencer's left section was ordered out to the Halifax road 



326 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [August, 

to the right of the station, and took position fronting northwest with 
only the cavalry videttes in support. Lieutenant Perrin with Lieu- 
tenant Chace's right section went south down the railroad, about 
three-quarters of a mile below the station. 

On taking position one piece was placed on the railroad bed, and 
the other was placed a few yards to the right in the field, both front- 
ing south in order to cover and protect the infantry, which was still 
destroying the railroad by tearing up rails and ties. As soon as the 
pieces were placed in position the cannoneers were set to work, and 
by sunrise had thrown up around the pieces substantial earthworks. 
The left section, however, was not destined to occupy the works it 
had constructed, for at nine o'clock, by General Gibbon's orders, it 
joined the right below the station. By this time the Second Division 
and three batteries of the Artillery Brigade had arrived. When the 
left section joined the right, Lieutenant Spencer's right piece was 
placed in position on the Halifax road to the left of Lieutenant 
Chace's left piece. Lieutenant Spencer's left piece was placed in the 
field to the right of Lieutenant Chace's right piece. The third and 
second pieces thus placed formed the left section of the battery, and 
was under the command of Lieutenant Chace, while the first and 
fourth pieces formed the right section of the battery and was under 
the command of Lieutenant Spencer. Lieutenant Perrin was in 
command of the battery which was fronting southwest, overlooking 
the railroad and the fields west of the Halifax road. The battery's 
present position was about two hundred yards south of the junction 
of the Dinwiddie stage road with the Halifax road. A force of 
cavalry under General Gregg, which was posted along the stage 
road, had been sharply attacked and repulsed early in the day by the 
rebel cavalry under General Butler. No infantry had appeared as 
yet to oppose our troops engaged in tearing up the railroad. On the 
arrival of General Gibbon's division (the Second) it was posted in 
the intrenchments, which had been constructed by either the Sixth 
Corps or the cavalry on the occasion of General Wilson's fight near 
this point some weeks previously. During the day the work of de- 
stroying the railroad was continued by General Miles's troops, pro- 
ceeding as far as Malone's Crossing, three miles below the station. 
At dark General Miles's Division (the First) was drawn back with- 
in the intrenchments, and General Gregg's cavalry held the ap- 
proaches in the direction of the Petersburg and Dinwiddie stage 
road. 




Reams's Station, August 25, 1864. 



1864.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 327 

Battery B bivouacked in the iatrenchments all night without be- 
ing disturbed. At daylight on the morning of the 25th, the men 
were aroused from their slumbers by the infantry going out of the 
works to the support of the cavalry, which had been ordered out to 
make an extended reconnaissance to the south. Reports were re- 
ceived that the enemy's pickets had been repulsed at two points with- 
out developing any increase of strength. General Hancock deter- 
mined, therefore, to continue the work of destroying the railroad, and 
General Gibbon's troops were ordered out for that purpose. Hardly 
had they got well out from the intrenchments when the head of the 
column, which had reached Malone's Crossing and commenced work, 
was attacked by a strong force of the enemy and driven back. Gen- 
eral Gibbon was obliged to deploy a strong skirmish line to check the 
enemy's advance, effected after a smart and lively skirmish of a few 
moments' duration. The division held its ground though not advanc- 
ing on the enemy. It was now evident that Gibbon's division had 
more serious business on its hands than tearing up railroads, and it 
was ordered back within the breastworks taking the left of the line. 
At ten o'clock a. m. the men were back in the intrenchments which 
extended across the Dinwiddie stage road. 

During this time Battery B was not idle, for the enemy had 
shown itself in force on our right. This obliged Lieutenant Per- 
rin to change front, and Lieutenant Spencer's pieces, the first and 
fourth, which were in the field to the right of the railroad, swung 
around to the right and rear about one hundred yards nearer to the 
traverse of the breastworks. Lieutenant Chace's right piece, which 
was on the railroad bed, was swung around to the front and right. 
By these changes three pieces were facing nearly west with one of 
Lieutenant Chace's pieces facing nearly southeast on the Halifax road. 
The breastworks west of the railroad extended parallel with the 
same several hundred yards, then turned to the east at both the 
south and north flanks with Battery B at the southwest angle, while 
the Tenth Massachusetts, Captain Sleeper's battery, was at the north- 
west angle. Further to the right was the Twelfth New York, Lieu- 
tenant Douchy's battery. In the centre of the position, behind the 
Oak Grove Church, was the Third New Jersey, Lieutenant "Werner's 
battery. Such was the position of the artillery at Reams's Station 
on the morning of the 25th. The ground immediately in front of 
the battery was comparatively clear of large timber, though covered 
with brush sufficiently high in many places to conceal the movement 



328 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [August, 

of the troops. To the right and front (northwest) were heavy tim- 
ber, in which the enemy's infantry was massed. 

During the forenoon the enemy's sharpshooters began to pick off 
both men and horses, and soon several men and two horses were 
killed ; thereupon Lieutenant Perrin, who was with Lieutenant Spen- 
cer's section, which was now in an advanced position, gave orders 
to shell the enemy's line. After firing a few rounds an order to 
cease firing was given by an aide from brigade headquarters, who 
said we were firing upon our own men. It was observed that he 
did not dismount nor make a long stay, bullets were flying thick 
and fast, and he had more urgent business which called liis attention 
to the rear, in which direction he went at double-quick time. Lieu- 
tenants Perrin and Spencer, as well as the men, knew better than to 
credit the aide's report for they could see the enemy aim and fire, it 
having crept up so close to our lines. As there had been no general 
engagement with our pickets, which should have been in our front, 
brigade headquarters was mistaken as to the situation of things. 
But orders had been received from higher authority to cease firing, 
and they Avere rigorously obeyed. During this time the First Di- 
vision had repulsed several attacks of the enemy on its lines, which 
were not pushed with much vigor. Soon after the battery had ceased 
firing it became evident that the enemy was preparing for another 
attack upon the right, for a commotion could be seen going on in 
a cornfield within their lines. About 5.30 p. m. a strong column of 
the enemy appeared, directing its assault against the northeast 
angle to the right of the Tenth Massachusetts Battery. Unfor- 
tunately our troops at this point gave way, and the enemy rush- 
ing forward leaped the breastworks and swarmed into our lines. 
As our lines were being broken the enemy opened a terrific fire from 
twenty pieces of artillery, which they had massed in the cornfield on 
our right and front in order to demoralize our troops holding the 
west intrenchments. The enemy's guns were served with vigor and 
determination. Their fire not only swept the whole space enclosed 
by the intrenchments west of the railroad, but took portions of Gen- 
eral Gibbon's line upon the left and rear in reverse. Our artillery 
was not dumb, but quickly answered the enemy's first shot. Bat- 
tery B and the Tenth Massachusetts Battery, occupying the low 
a-round west of the railroad, found themselves in an unpleasant posi- 
tion. Both men and horses were completely exposed to the volleys 
of the enemy and the fire of its sharpshooters. One by one our 



1864.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT A.RTILLERY. 329 

horses had fallen, until every one was killed, some being riddled 
by dozens of bullets. Several men had been severely wounded and 
taken to the rear. As the enemy's artillery fire broke out furiously 
Batteries B and the Tenth Massachusetts, notwithstanding their se- 
vere loss, pluckily responded, while the Twelfth New York Battery, 
upon the right, shelled the woods on the northwest where the en- 
emy's infantry were massed. 

The attacking rebel force consisted of the brigades of General 
Cooke, McRae, Lane, and Scales, with Anderson's and three of Mc- 
Gowan's regiments in support. 

In charging, the rebels encountered serious obstructions from the 
slashing of the woods which had been made at this point, and they 
were not a little shaken by the fire which greeted them. Four times 
they charged up to our breastworks and were repulsed. Five min- 
utes more of good conduct and staying qualities on the part of our 
infantry, which occupied the lines between the Tenth Massachusetts 
and the Twelfth New York batteries, would in all probability have 
ended the strife with a victory for our arms. But it was not so to 
be. In a moment of panic our infantry gave way, and the enemy 
closely pursuing gained our rear. 

At the time our line was broken, and the enemy opened its 
artillery fire from the cornfield, Battery B could bring only three guns 
into use, as its fourth on the Halifax road was on lower ground than 
the railroad, across which it could not fire to the west. We re- 
sponded, however, from our three serviceable guns sending shot and 
shell into the cornfield and w r oods, but were not able to fire upon the 
charging column at the breastworks for fear of firing into our own 
troops, as the intrenchments curved so sharply to the right. 

In the height of this cannonading an aide on Major Hazard's staff, 
Lieutenant Fairchilds, rode down to the battery and shouted : 
" Why in h do you not fire upon the charging column? " Lieu- 
tenant Spencer replied, that he could not unless he fired across the 
Massachusetts battery. The lieutenant did not stop to argue the 
point in the midst of the enemy's deadly shot and shell, but quickly 
decamped. Lieutenant Chace could neither fire on the charging col- 
umn, nor on the woods where the rebels were formed without firing 
across Lieutenant Spencer's two pieces as well as the Tenth Massa- 
chusetts Battery. 

Under this heavy fire our gun detachments were pretty well re- 
duced, in consequence of which Lieutenant Perrin took charge of 



330 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [AllgUSt, 

Spencer's left piece, which was Sergeant Rider's, his gunner, Corp. 
William Maxcy, being disabled by a wound in the arm sustained 
from a sharpshooter in the early part of the engagement, but with 
the injured member tied up in a handkerchief he stubbornly refused 
to leave his post. 

Lieutenant Spencer gave his attention to his right piece, which was in 
charge of Acting Sergt. John Fox. Sergeant Macomber had been hit 
by a sharpshooter while trying to get his piece out of the soft ground 
into which ithad settled. When struck the sergeant fell back into the 
arms of Lieutenant Spencer, who, with the help of tw r o cannoneers, 
carried him to the left of the gun and placed him under the breast- 
works. Lieutenant Spencer had finally got his right piece forward 
upon hard ground when a shell, in passing over the men at the gun, 
exploded, and a piece struck No. 6 in the side almost cutting his body 
in half, killing him instantly. He was a detached man whose time 
was about out. 

About this time, just as the enemy opened a heavy fire upon the 
battery, First Sergeant Adams went from the caissons down to the 
limbers to see if he could be of any service there. He was mor- 
tally wounded and carried a short distance to the rear, where after 
being placed beside a tree he soon expired. 

Lieutenant Perrin was with Sergeant Rider's piece only a short 
time, before he also was wounded by a piece of shell, which broke 
his leg below the knee. He was helped to the rear by some of Ser- 
geant Rider's men. About this time Lieutenant Spencer observed 
that his left piece was not firing, and going to find out the cause, dis- 
covered Sergeant Rider and Corporal Maxcy sitting on the trail of 
the piece played out, having no men to help them. * Lieutenant Spen- 
cer asked an officer of the New York Heavy Artillery regiment for 
men to assist in working the pieces, who replied that he did not know 
what men to detail not knowing which ones understood how to work 
light guns. Lieutenant Spencer said : " Give me men, they can do 
something," and becoming impatient called for volunteers himself, 
and several came forward, doing good service as long as the ammu- 
nition lasted. 

Notwithstanding that the enemy, after breaking through our lines, 
was making toward our rear, the regiment of infantry in support of 
the battery remained inactive, not firing a round in self-defence. 
This seemed wrong to Lieutenant Spencer, and, in the excitement of 
the moment, he went up to the colonel of the regiment and asked 



1864.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 331 

him why he did not march his men into the opening. The enemy 
was now moving around toward our left leaving the captured guns of 
the Twelfth New York Battery, and the angle of intrenchments 
without any troops. The colonel replied that he had had no orders 
and could not do it. Lieutenant Spencer impetuously replied : " To 
h — 11 with orders ! — march your men in there and cut off the enemy 
from getting back!" But the colonel would not accept an order 
from a second lieutenant of artillery ; no ! not he ! he would be cap- 
tured first ! And sure enough before the battle was over he and his 
whole regiment, nearly fourteen hundred strong, including thirty-two 
officers, were taken without firing a gun. 

Lieutenant Spencer finding it useless to argue with the colonel 
went back to his section, and assisted with his right piece in shelling 
the enemy, remaining on the outside of the work until only two men 
were left to help him, while the wheels of the gun carriage and trail 
had settled so far into the ground (which was soft and spongy) that 
he could not work the gun to advantage without endangering the 
Union troops. The guns had become so hot, by the rapid fire, that 
they could not be handled. For the lack of ammunition Lieutenant 
Spencer ceased firing, and looking toward his left piece again saw 
Sergeant Rider and Corporal Maxcy sitting on the trail, there being 
no men nor ammunition. The lieutenant realized that the case was 
hopeless, and his men who had so unflinchingly stood fire, remaining 
at their posts with no signs of neglecting their duty, had showed 
their mettle, and were worthy of a chance to escape if it were possi- 
ble, without being kept there to be slaughtered. They had been un- 
der fire all day long and still survived the conflict. He ordered his 
men to retire and take care of themselves, and started with them in 
the direction of Lieutenant Chace's section under a heavy fire of shot 
and shell. 

As Lieutenant Spencer was crossing the railroad, which was about 
six feet above the level of the field in which his section had been sta- 
tioned, a solid shot from the enemy came so close as to cause him 
to fall to the ground, with nothing more serious than a good shaking 
up. Proceeding on his way he met Lieutenant Chace, on the Halifax 
road, leading his horse, and as he hailed him a shot from the rebels 
passed through the horse's body killing him instantly, the last horse 
of Battery B that went into the fight. Lieutenants Chace and Spen- 
cer then discussed the situation. Chace said there were three rounds 
of canister in one of his limbers, and thought they had better go back 



332 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [August, 

and use it up, they concluded to do so, and had started to go back 
to the pieces when a rebel major with some fifty or sixty men came 
out of the woods in their rear and demanded their surrender. He took 
them into the opening, left vacant by our troops, where the enemy had 
passed through into our lines near the Tenth Massachusetts Battery. 
As the major and his men, with the prisoners of Battery B were pass- 
ing over the intrenchments into the enemy's Hue, one of Battery B's 
guns, of Lieutenant Chace's section, was fired by some one of our men. 
It had been loaded with canister and cut a swath in the enemy's 
ranks, killing and wounding a great number who were swarm- 
ing into the field where the guns of Lieutenant Spencer's section 
were silently standing. But on swept the rebels, not only cap- 
turing the guns of Battery B, but also the entire New York Heavy 
Artillery regiment, which was supposed to have been placed there in 
support of the battery. 

As Battery B's men were taken into the rebel line, the enemy 
showed Lieutenant Spencer the trenches which it had dug up to our 
picket line early in the morning in front of the Tenth Massachusetts 
Battery and where it had captured our pickets, and stationed rebel 
men in their places, attired in Union clothes taken from our captured 
men. This explains the reason why there was no picket firing in 
our front before the charge of the enemy. 

Battery B's casualties at the Battle of Reams's Station on the 25th 
of August, 1864, were as follows : First Lieut. William S. Per- 
rin commanding, wounded, struck by a piece of shell in the leg be- 
low the knee, and taken prisoner. First Lieut. James E. Chace and 
Second Lieut. Gideon Spencer were taken prisoners. Killed: First 
Sergt. Charles H. Adams and Private John Glynn. Wounded: 
Sergeants, Aborn W. Carter, Calvin L. Macomber, and Charles J. 
Rider; Corp. William H. Maxcy, and Private Thomas Donnelly. 
The following with those above were taken prisoners : Corp. Sam- 
uel H. Collington, who deserted taking the oath of allegiance to the 
Confederacy; Privates, William Costin, Samuel J. Goldsmith, 
John Hampston, Frederic G. Herman, Thomas McNamara, Charles 
F. Riley, Irving W. Tallman, Benjamin W. Walker, Henry A. 
Wellman, and William W. Winsor. Of the detached men two were 
killed, wounded and taken prisoners, twenty-nine. Killed in action 
four, wounded and taken prisoners, forty-eight ; a total of fifty-two 
officers and men. There were also fifty battery horses killed and 
wounded. Our four pieces and four caissons were lost. Only 



1864.] 



FIRST KI-IODE ISLAND LIGHT AUTIIJ.KKY. 



333 



one limber was saved. The enemy had dearly paid for our lost pieces 
in blood, for never were guns served more faithfully or held on to 
with greater tenacity. As long as ammunition lasted they belched 
forth an angry reply to the enemy located in the cornfield. The 
battery lost trophies, but not honor. 

It was nearly midnight when the last squad of men from the bat- 
tle field arrived at the camp of the battery's train, which was parked 
on the left of the road between the Norfolk Railroad and the Jeru- 
salem Plank road. In the morning it was learned that one limber 
and a gun had been brought from the field into camp. At first it 
was thought to be one of Battery B's guns, and the men of that bat- 
tery were quite pleased to think that one gun had been saved. Sub- 
sequent investigation proved, however, that the gun belonged to the 
Twelfth New York Battery, whose men proved their ownership by 
its number, and were allowed to take it to their camp after they had 
obtained permission from Major Hazard, chief of Artillery Brigade. 

On the 26th, First Sergt. William D. Child, of Battery A, by or- 
ders from corps artillery headquarters, was placed in command of 
the remaining remnants of both batteries A and B, and ordered to 
make a report of the battle of Reams's Station for headquarters. 
The sergeant faithfully performed the duties assigned him. The men 
of Battery B, though somewhat insubordinate to his orders, were 
nevertheless courteous in other respects. 




Corp. William P. Wells. 



334 histouv ot" battery b, [September, 



CHAPTER XXIII 



THE WINTER SIEGE OF PETERSBURG— THE BATTERY 
REORGANIZED. 

AFTER the return of the Second Corps from Reams's Station, 
the First and Second Divisions were chiefly engaged, during 
the remainder of August, in completing a formidable line of 
defensive earthworks, which General Grant had ordered to be con- 
structed to protect his left flank. The Third Division occupied the 
lines of intrenchments from Strong's house to the Norfolk Railroad. 
Meanwhile the men of the two batteries, under the command of 
First Sergt. W. D. Child, lay in camp awaiting orders. 

On Sunday, September 4th, Capt. T. Fred. Brown returned and 
resumed command. The men were pleased to see him back. 

On the 6th, the pioneer corps built a railroad which passed in 
rear of the camp, and ran from City Point Railroad to corps head- 
quarters, facilitating the transportation of troops and supplies. 

On the 7th, the two caissons which had been with the trains were 
returned to the battery. 

On the 8th, Captain Brown ordered a general policing of the camp. 
This was the first time the grounds had been cleaned since the return 
of the men from Reams's Station. 

On the 9th, the corps advanced and obtained possession of the 
enemy's rifle-pits at the point known as "The Chimney's," on the 
Jerusalem Plank road. This proved to be one of the most creditable 
operations of the siege. 

On the 10th, a detail of men under command of First Sergeant 
Child, with Quartermaster-sergeant Horton, returned from City 
Point with rather a poor lot of horses for the battery. They were 
fortunate in securing as many as were required, for the demand was 
greater than the supply. 



1864.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 335 

On Sunday, September 18th, Captain Brown received a park of 
six new Napoleon brass guns, light twelve-pounders, and four cais- 
sons. For the fifth time the battery was now fully equipped and 
ready for action. 

On the 20th, Captain Brown commenced a series of mounted drills 
twice a day, weather permitting, as many new men and horses had 
been added to his command. 

On the 23d, the two batteries A and B, which had been operating 
together since the 17th of July, were officially consolidated as one 
command, known as Battery B, First Regiment Rhode Island Light 
Artillery. This act terminated a distinctive history marked by the 
brilliant deeds of one of the first batteries of Rhode Island. 

On the 24th, Captain Brown received marching orders. The pros- 
pects of a change stimulated the men to renewed activity, tents 
were soon struck, the battery equipage packed, and at dusk we pulled 
out of camp moving up to the right. The night was very dark, 
and we moved along slowly through the galleries and valleys to the 
intrenchments. The caissons and wagons were left and parked in a 
hollow in front of Meade's Station on the military railroad. Captain 
Brown with the pieces proceeded to the front line, and was assigned 
position in Fort Stedman. While going up to the fort in the dark 
we were much annoyed by the enemy's artillery fire. We remained 
under arms during the night, but as the enemy's fire was mostly to 
our right we did not become engaged. 

On the 25th, a camp was laid out where the caissons were parked, 
the ground being cleared of shrubs, tents were pitched, and then the 
picket-rope for the horses was stretched. 

At noon we were made happy by the appearance of the paymaster 
to settle Uncle Sam's account. The battery was paid for the months 
of July and August. 

September 27th. The enemy had been remarkably quiet for the 
past few days, and we had improved the time by cleaning up the fort 
and making ourselves as comfortable as possible. At dusk, as if to 
make up for lost time, the enemy opened three batteries and shelled 
the fort vigorously. Battery B responded with telling effect, while 
the batteries on our right and left also opened, continuing the fire 
for more than an hour. The shells from the enemy's batteries 
swept the knoll at our rear clean of shrubs and small trees. Many 
of our tents in the fort were destroyed, but the casualties among the 
cannoneers were of a slight nature. During the night the battery 
kept up an occasional fire, so that there was no sleep for the men. 



336 history of battery b, [October, 

About nine o'clock on the evening of the 28th, the enemy again 
opened fire on us, and about the same programme was enacted as on 
the preceding night. 

On the 29th, at dusk, the enemy opened fire again. The mortar 
batteries on both sides, stationed in our vicinity, seemed to take 
special delight in engaging each other at night, thus disturbing the 
peace of every one. Between the fire of the mortars at night and 
the necessity for instant readiness at the guns during the day, sleep 
for any length of time was impossible, and what we did obtain was 
greatly appreciated. 

On the 30th, the battery received eleven recruits, detached from 
the Fourth New York Heavy Artillery. 

Saturday, October 1st, at dawn, there was brisk firing of the 
pickets in our front, to which the battery had no chance to respond 
as the rain suddenly began to pour clown. Soon everything was 
drenched and many of the bomb-proofs of the men were flooded, 
causing great discomforture to the occupants. It rained all day and 
part of the next night so that the troops were glad to remain quiet. 

On the Gth, the men whose time of service had expired were dis- 
charged and they left for home. Quartermaster-Sergeant Anthony B. 
Horton was pi'omoted to first sergeant vice William D. Child dis- 
charged. As sergeant Horton was absent on detached service with 
the supply trains, Company Clerk William J. Kenyon was promoted 
sergeant and to acting first sergeant. 

On the 8th, by orders of the chief of artillery, Lieutenant Clarke, 
of the First New Jersey Battery, reported for duty. At this time 
all of Battery B's lieutenants were in the hands of the enemy as 
prisoners of war. 

On the 18th, Lieutenant Bull, an engineer from corps headquar- 
ters, made a general inspection of Fort Stedman, the battery, and 
camp quarters. He complimented Captain Brown in regard to the 
good condition of the fort and his men. 

On the 20th, the battery fired a salute of twenty guns in honor of 
General Sheridan's victory. 

On the 26th, the Second and Third Divisions of the Second corps 
were sent on an expedition, to the left, to Boydton Plank road at 
Hatcher's Run. By the withdrawal of these two divisions, the First 
occupied in length about three and a half miles of the intrench- 
ments. 

On the afternoon of the 27th, our troops made an advance move- 



1864.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 337 

raent on oar left, and the enemy countercharging pressed our men 
back to their support. On being reenforced our men held the enemy 
in check, while we gave the rebels a vigorous shelling causing them to 
return to their intrenchments, when their artillery opened and sent us 
their compliments by a few solid shot which did us no damage. We 
remained under arms all night expecting an attack, but all was quiet 
along the lines until dusk of the 28th, when the enemy gave us 
another shelling to which we responded. 

On the 31st, Second Lieut. William B. Westcott, of Battery H, 
First Rhode Island Light Artillery, reported to Battery B for duty 
relieving Lieutenant Clarke, who then returned to his battery the 
"First New Jersey." 

Tuesday, November 1st, the weather was very pleasant, and, as 
the enemy had been very quiet for the past few days, time hung heavy 
on our hands with nothing to do but watch the rebel lines. 

On the 5th, at midnight, we were called to our posts and prepared 
for action. The rebels had charged our lines upon our left and cap- 
tured four picket posts. This brought on a sharp engagement be- 
tween the enemy and General Mott's division, joined in by the 
batteries. The heavens were lighted up by the flashing fires of burn- 
ing fuse and bursting shells, while the discharge from the mortars 
streaked the sky with a seeming shower of falling stars. In this 
Battery B took no part, other than to enjoy the magnificent sight of 
the atrial fireworks. 

On the 10th, at dark, a rebel mortar battery engaged in a duel 
with one of ours upon our right, which lasted for more than an hour 
resulting as far as we could discern in only a waste of ammunition, 
for the shelling of the enemy did our mortar battery no material 
harm. 

On the 15th, Second Lieut. Nathaniel R. Chace, promoted from 
sergeant' of Battery G, First Rhode Island Light Artillery, reported 
for duty. 

On the 22d, at dark, sixty rebel prisoners passed the fort on their 
way to headquarters, they had deserted the Confederate cause having 
become tired of the war. 

On the 23d, the drivers finished a bush fence around the camp of 
the battery's train, this was to keep the horses from straying off at 
night should they become loosened from the picket-rope. 

On the 26th, Maj.-Gen. A. A. Humphreys succeeded General 
Hancock in the command of the Second Corps. 



338 histoky of battery b, [December, 

On the 29th, the Second Corps was relieved from its position in 
front of Petersburg by the Ninth Corps and marched to the extreme 
left, where it took up the lines formerly held by the Ninth. Head- 
quarters were established at the Peebles house. 

At early dawn the battery quietly withdrew from the intrench- 
ments and arrived at the camp of the caissons without any casual- 
ties. Captain Brown ordered the tents to be struck, and forage and 
equipments packed for a move. 

At one p. m. the battery broke camp and left Meade's Station, mov- 
ing with the First Division toward the left of the line we passed the 
Jones house and halted, bivouacking near the Southwell house. 

On the 30th, we resumed the march to Patrick's Station, the end 
of the Military Railroad near Poplar Spring Church, and encamped. 

First Sergt. A. B. Horton, having been discharged received the 
commission of second lieutenant in Battery H. Sergt. William J. 
Kenyon was promoted to first sergeant. 

Thursday, December 1st, Captain Brown received orders to pre- 
pare camp quarters, and the men were kept quite busy until the camp 
was finished. 

On the morning of the 7th, the rain poured in torrents, but never- 
theless at seven o'clock the battery was ordered to hitch up and leave 
camp. Moving back toward the right we crossed the military rail- 
road and took position in a new fort which the infantry was building. 
We remained until dark when upon being relieved by Battery B, 
First New Jersey, we returned to camp. 

On the 9th, the First Division was ordered out on a reconnais- 
sance, and Battery B followed along the Vaughan road near to 
Hatcher's Run. Here our infantry encountered the enemy's pickets 
and drove them across the stream. The battery was ordered into 
position, but, after shelling the enemy's line for about twenty min- 
utes, we were ordered to cease firing. No reply was received from 
the enemy's artillery during the demonstrations made by our in- 
fantry. We remained in position all day and at dark withdrew to 
the rear, then parked and bivouacked for the night. 

On the morning of the 10th, the division moved forward to Arm- 
strong's Mill. The advance guard had a slight brush with the 
enemy's pickets who retreated without bringing on an engagement. 
At dark the division was ordered to return, and the battery reached 
camp at ten o'clock. 

On the afternoon of the 11th, the centre and left sections, under 




Siege of Petersburg, June 15, 1864-ApriI 2, 1865. 



1864.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLKRY. 339 

Lieutenants Chace and Westcott, were sent to the front. After 
crossing the Weldon Railroad they were ordered into position in Fort 
Davidson. The Fifth Corps was sent out on a reconnaissance, and 
succeeded in destroying the Weldon Railroad beyond the Nottoway 
River to Hicksford. On the 14th, the Fifth Corps returned and the 
two sections were l'elieved and sent back to camp. 

On the 17th, the battery fired a salute in honor of General 
Thomas's victory. 

On the 18th, we commenced to build huts and stable stockade, also 
a bush fence around the camp. Upon the completion of winter 
quarters the men were given an opportunity to rest and recuperate. 
Before the year closed Capt. T. Fred. Brown was breveted major, 
to date from Dec. 3, 1864, for meritorious service, remaining with 
the battery as commander. 

Sunday, Jan. 1, 1865. The New Year opened with a fierce snow 
storm, followed during the day by a cold wave. The month of Jan- 
uary, weather permitting, was occupied in drilling the large number 
of temporarily attached men. Foot and mounted drills, and manual 
of the piece were practiced regularly. 

On the 7th, the battery was paid for the months of September, 
October, November and December, thus settling accounts for 1864. 

Nothing of consequence occurred to the battery while encamped at 
Patrick's Station. 

On Februry 3d, Major Brown received marching orders to have 
his battery ready to move at a moment's notice, the gun and caisson 
equipments were all replaced, and three days' rations of grain strap- 
ped on the chests. 

On the 4th, Major Brown with the right and centre sections, under 
Lieutenant Westcott, left camp and moved out to the front and going 
into Fort Cummings relieved Battery K, Fourth United States. The 
First Division of the Second Corps was left to hold the intrench- 
ments, while the other two with the Fifth Corps and General Gregg's 
cavalry went on an expedition across Hatcher's Run. 

On the 5th, Lieut. N. R. Chace was ordered to report with 
the left section and caissons to Lieut. J. W. Roder, Battery K, 
Fourth United States, and with that battery and the Second Division 
moved down to Hatcher's Run. During the afternoon heavy skir- 
mish firing was heard at the front. 

On the 7th, the three sections returned to camp, the left from the 
front, the first and centre from Fort Cummings. The result of the 



340 history of battery b, [March, 

expedition, on the 5th and 6th, was to extend our lines of intrench- 
ments to Hatcher's Run at the Vaughan road crossing. 

On the 11th, upon Major Brown receiving marching orders, the 
tents were struck and all camp equipage packed in the wagons, then the 
battery was ordered to hitch up, and at noon broke camp and pulled 
out into the road leaving our winter quarters at Patrick's Station. 
Marching westward toward Hatcher's Run we moved clown by the 
Vaughan road, aud at dusk halted at the Tucker house where we 
parked and bivouacked. 

On the 12th, Major Brown ordered a camp to be laid out, and 
after the ground was cleared of shrubbery, the tents pitched, and dur- 
ing the remainder of the month we remained quietly in camp the 
time being occupied in drilling. 

On the 21st, Lieut. W. B. Westcott, who was on detached service 
from Battery H, was granted a furlough and left for home. While 
in Providence, R. I., he was promoted, receiving the commission of 
first lieutenant of Battery B, and on the 11th of March he returned 
and reported for duty. 

On the loth of March, the battery was reduced for light march- 
ing, all surplus baggage and camp equipage were sent to the quarter- 
master's department. 

On the 18th, the battery received twenty-one recruits from Rhode 
Island. 

On the 19th, Battery B with the Artillery Brigade was reviewed 
by General Humphreys, commander of the Second Corps. 

On the 23d, the Second Corps was reviewed by General Grant. 
In the afternoon the left section, under Lieut. N. R. Chace, was sent 
to the front to relieve Battery B, First New Jersey. 

On the 24th, our infantry advanced and formed new lines. 

On the 25th, the left section returned to camp. At noon we heard 
of the capture of Fort Stedman by the rebels, but it was subsequently 
retaken by our troops who captured nearly two thousand prison- 
ers and nine stands of colors. About three o'clock the battery was 
sent out to the picket line, and went into position near the Watkins 
house. There were several heavy skirmishes in our front. During 
the time that the battery shelled the rebel lines it received no reply 
from their artillery. At midnight being relieved we returned to 
camp. 

On the 26th, the left section, Lieut. N. R. Chace, went to the front 
and relieved one of the Fifth Corps batteries. 



1865.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 341 

On the 28th, the battery being relieved from picket duty returned 
to camp. The Second Corps was relieved at the intrenchments by 
General Gibbon's Twenty-fourth Corps. 

In the afternoon Major T. Fred. Brown left the battery to fill the 
position to which he had been promoted on the staff of Col. John G. 
Hazard, Chief of Artillery. The command of the battery was 
turned over to First Lieut. William B. Westcott. 

Charles A. Libbey, our late quartermaster-sergeant, was in camp 
to-day on a visit to his comrades-in-arms ; he was given a hearty wel- 
come, and on leaving said if we would call on him he would return 
the compliment. He was connected with the sutler's department, 
therefore, it is needless to say that many called. At dusk the battery 
received twenty-nine recruits from Rhode Island. 

On the 29th, at seven a. m., we broke camp at the Tucker house 
and followed the Second Division ; crossing Hatcher's Run at 
eight o'clock we advanced about a mile and went into position. 
Heavy firing was heard to our right, it was the engagement of the 
Fifth Corps on the Quaker road. 

On the morning of the 30th, the battery advanced about one mile 
to the Crow house, and took position at short range in front of a rebel 
fort. The day passed without anything of importance transpiring ; 
the operations of our troops were delayed by a fearful downpour of 
rain which had commenced the night before and continued through 
the next day, flooding the low swampy country, and rendering the 
miry roads almost impassable until they were corduroyed. 

On the 31st, while our infantry was assaulting the enemy's line 
between Hatcher's Run and the Boydton Plank road, Battery B vig- 
orously shelled the rebel fort in its front, and at night bivouacked in 
the same position. 

Saturday, April 1st, at early dawn the left section, under Lieut. 
N. R. Chace, was advanced to the right and front about three hun- 
dred yards, to a redoubt which the cannoneers had built during the 
ni"-ht. The battery was under orders to open on the enemy's line 
upon the firing of a signal gun. Thus the men were under arms all 
day and part of the following night. It was not until two o'clock 
on the morning of the 2d, that the signal gun was fired, then Battery 
B opened on the rebel fort. At the same time all of our artillery 
opened fire on the enemy's line, and a heavy cannonading was kept 
up until sunrise. Then our infantry made a charge, and the rebel 
lines, from in front of Fort Sedgwick to our extreme left, were cap- 



342 



HISTORY OF BATTERY B, 



[April, 



tured and occupied by the troops of the Second, Sixth, Twenty- 
fourth, and Twenty-fifth Corps. This brilliant victory resulted in the 
fall of Petersburg. 

At ten o'clock the battery left the intrenchraents and advanced, 
marching up the Boydton Plank road to the Cox road, along which 
we advanced about five miles, then halted and encamped for the 
night. 




Sergt. Albert Straight. 



1865.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 343 



CHAPTER XXIV. 



THE PURSUIT OF THE CONFEDERATE ARMY— GEN- 
ERAL LEE'S SURRENDER AT APPOMATTOX. 

ON the 3d of April the battery made an early start and 
marched all day and night, moving toward the west we 
crossed the Namozine Creek, and halted at three o'clock in 
the morning to feed the horses. Lee's army was now in full retreat 
followed by the Army of the Potomac. One of the most eventful 
days in the history of this country, was Monday, April 3, 1865, 
when the Confederates evacuated both Richmond and Petersburg, re- 
sulting in the fall of the rebel capital and seat of war. The Con- 
federates unwilling that the victorious army should have as spoils the 
tobacco stored in their warehouses, set them on fire. They also fired 
the bridges which spanned the James River. The wind spread the 
flames far and wide, burning a large portion of the houses in the 
centre of the city. The conflagration was checked by the Union 
army after its occupancy of the place. 

On the 4th, at five o'clock we resumed the march toward Burke- 
ville, crossed the Nintercomac Creek and marched all day until eight 
p. m., when we halted and bivouacked for the night. 

On the 5th, at daybreak, we were again on the road following 
Lee's army. At night we camped near Jetersville. 

On the morning of the 6th, at six o'clock, we resumed the march 
going westward, on reaching rising ground and looking across the 
field we could see, to the front and right, columns of weary rebel 
troops toiling along endeavoring to escape in a flank movement by 
way of the Danville road. Our artillery was ordered into position 
and Battery B opened with shot and shell, firing about forty rounds, 



344 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [April, 

while our infantry was sent forward in hot pursuit. This was the 
last shelling that Battery B gave the rebels. At noon we limbered 
up and resumed the march, crossed Flat Creek, and at nine p. m. 
halted and parked for the night. The country through which we 
passed was broken, its open fields alternating with forests having a 
dense undergrowth and numerous swamps, over and through which 
the lines of battle followed the retreating foe. 

On the 7th, we left camp at sunrise and still moving westward 
halted at Farmville. Here the enemy made a stand, and the battery 
was placed in position overlooking the railroad, but did not do any 
firing. The infantry of the corps was smartly engaged at High 
Bridge, and forcing the enemy back saved the wagon road bridge 
from destruction, also capturing nineteen guns and 130 army wagons. 
Among the prisoners captured during the day was General Lewis, 
of Gordon's Corps, severely wounded. 

On the morning of the 8th, we heard that General Grant last 
night sent to General Lee, by way of the Second Corps lines, a letter 
demanding the surrender of the Confederate army. As anticipated 
the enemy's forces had moved off during the night, and the pursuit 
was accordingly taken up by the Second Corps. At seven o'clock 
the battery left camp and moving along the Lynchburg stage road 
marched all day. At midnight we halted, parked beside the road 
and bivouacked. 

While the Second Corps was in hot pursuit along the north bank 
of the Appomattox, General Grant's second letter to Lee was sent 
through the lines. Late in the afternoon our cavalry under General 
Custer captured Appomattox Station, and the trains loaded with sup- 
plies for Lee's famishing troops, together with a large park of artil- 
lery and many prisoners. Inspired by the prospect of a final victory, 
the cavalry still pushed forward and by nightfall had gained a posi- 
tion west of the Appomattox Court House, thus cutting off the 
enemy's retreat to Lynchburg as it had clone before at Danville. 

On the morning of the 9th, before we broke camp three days' ra- 
tions were issued, after which the battery was inspected by Lieut. 
W. B. Westcott, with a view to having the battery in readiness to 
perform any duty whether marching or fighting. At nine o'clock we 
left camp and took up the chase moving at a slow pace until eleven 
o'clock, when a halt was made by the roadside. While waiting the 
couriers, with dispatches from Lee to Grant, crossed the path of 
Battery B, passing under its guidon on their way to headquarters. 




Lieut. Gideon Spencer. 



1865.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 345 

Firing was heard at the front. The infantry had been pushed 
steadily forward by General Humphreys, and had come upon the 
skirmishers of General Longstreet's rear guard. Preparations were 
at once made to attack the enemy, which was found in position, by 
sending troops forward, and at noon Battery B resumed its march 
onward. 

At four o'clock in the afternoon we received the glad news of Gen- 
eral Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House. The long strug- 
gle to maintain the union of the States was virtually ended. Of the 
magnanimity with which the conqueror bore his triumph, and hast- 
ened to lift his fallen foe it is not necessary to speak. The world 
knows the story well, and in both sections of the united country this 
will ever be one of his chiefest titles to fame. 

As the glad tidings spread among the troops the enthusiasm of the 
men knew no bounds, cheer upon cheer went up, hats and caps were 
flung high in the air. The soldiers could hardly restrain their feel- 
ings, being nearly overcome with joy as the picture of home pre- 
sented itself to their minds. 

At six p. m. the battery parked and encamped near Clover Hill, 
where it rested all day on the 10th. 

On the 11th, Lieutenant Westcott received marching orders, and 
preparations to return to the James River were at once begun. At 
ten o'clock the battery broke camp and moving toward the east 
marched ten miles to New Store where we parked for the night. 
The roads were very muddy as it had rained all clay. 

On the 12th, we marched back near to Farmville, crossed the 
Appomattox River and bivouacked for the night. 

On the 13th, the battery moved three miles beyond the Lynchburg 
Railroad, and on the 14th, marched near to Burke Station on the 
Danville Railroad and encamped. While here Lieuts. James E. 
Chace and Gideon Spencer returned to duty, having been exchanged 
in March. As senior officer Lieut. James E. Chace was given com- 
mand of the battery, while Lieutenant Westcott resumed command 
of the right section, Lieutenant Spencer the left section, and Lieut. 
N. R. Chace the centre section. 

On the 19th, by orders issued from the war department, the bat- 
tery as well as the entire army performed no work during the funeral 
service of our late President, Abraham Lincoln. 

On the 21st, had battery inspection by Lieut. James E. Chace, 
and on the 22d the Artillery Brigade was reviewed by Col. John G. 
Hazard for the last time while in the field. 



346 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, [May, 

On Sunday, the 23d, had battery and camp inspection by Maj. T. 
Fred. Brown. 

On the morning of the 25th, by General Orders No. 6Q, from 
Artillery Brigade, Battery B, First New Jersey fired a salute of 
thirteen guns, then one gun at intervals of half an hour during the 
day in token of bereavement of the nation's loss, " the death of 
President Lincoln." 

Battery B had the honor of firing the national salute of thirty-six 
minute-guns at sunset. 

On the 28th, the troops were made quite jovial by the news that 
General Johnson of the rebel army had surrendered to General 
Sherman. 

Monday, May 1st, the battery received marching orders, but as the 
roads were very muddy and in a bad condition for traveling, on ac- 
count of recent rains, the ammunition chests were taken to the sta- 
tion, on the morning of the 2d, and shipped to City Point on cars, 
and from there they were shipped by transports to Alexandria. Cor- 
poral Burlingame with a detail of cannoneers went with them. 

At 3.30 o'clock Lieut. James E. Chace ordered the battery to pack 
and hitch up. About four o'clock we broke camp and left Burke 
Station passing through Burkeville ; we marched until eight p. m., 
then halted and parked for the night. 

At an early hour on the morning of the 3d, we resumed the march 
eastward, and passing through Jetersville and Amelia Court House 
crossed the Appomattox River, at dusk we halted and bivouacked by 
the wayside, having marched twenty-seven miles during the day. 

On the 4th, we resumed the march, and on the morning of the 5th, 
arrived at Manchester where we were encamped all day. 

On the 6th, we crossed the James River to Richmond and passing 
through the city encamped five miles beyond. 

The business portion of Richmond, between the canal basin and 
Capitol Square, was a heap of ruins. Household furniture which 
had been brought to the square during the conflagration had disap- 
peared piece by piece, being appropriated by the colored population. 
The doors of Libby Prison stood wide open, and as we passed the 
negroes about the place greeted us with : " Dey's all gone, massa." 
Yes, Belle Island was deserted. 

On the morning of the 7th, we again set out, marching north and 
crossing the Chickahominy River we passed through Hanover Court 
House, and crossing the Pamunkey River encamped for the night. 



1865.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 347 

On the 8th, we were on the march all day, crossed the Richmond 
and Fredericksburg Railroad at Chesterfield Station and parked for 
the night at Old Chesterfield. 

On the evening of the 9th, we encamped three miles beyond Massa- 
ponax Church. 

On the 10th, the battery passed through Fredericksburg, crossed 
the Rappahannock River to Falmouth, and at night parked near 
(Stafford Court House. 

On the 11th, we went into camp at four p. M. on the bank of the 
Quantico Creek. 

On the 12th, we halted for the night near the Occoquan River. 

On the 13th, left camp at four a. m., crossed the river at Wolf 
Run Shoals, passed through Fairfax Station and Court House, and 
encamped at Bailey's Cross Roads. 

On the 15th, we moved up near to Munson's Hill and encamped, 
remaining there during the rest of the month. 

On the 16th, the battery went to Alexandria and returned with the 
ammunition chests which had been shipped from Burkeville. 

On the 19th, the caissons were taken to Washington and left at the 
arsenal. Brevet Captain William S. Perrin visited the battery in 
the afternoon, and the men were glad to see him looking so well 
though minus a leg. 

The 22d, was a busy day in preparing for inspection and review. 

On May 23d, occurred the grand review of the Army of the Po- 
tomac by the President. Early in the morning Battery B left its 
camp, and proceeding to Washington took the position assigned it. 
At the appointed time the head of the column, led by General Humph- 
reys and staff, moved up Pennsylvania Avenue. On the reviewing 
stand, in front of the White House, were the President and his Cabinet, 
and all foreign ministers, together with the governors of the loyal states 
and many other distinguished people invited to be present. The 
parade of the troops was magnificent. In dress, in soldierly appear- 
ance, in precision of alignment and in marching it could not be sur- 
passed, was the decisions made by those who witnessed it. At five 
p. m. the battery returned to camp, the men somewhat tired but well 
pleased that they had had the honor of taking part in the final scene 
of the war. 

The next day occurred the review of General Sherman's army. 
One of the pleasing features of this was the following after each brig- 
ade of " the foragers," known as " Sherman's Bummers," as they 
appeared on the march through Georgia. 



348 history of battery b, [May, 

These reviews were probably never surpassed on the American 
continent. 

On the evening of the 25th, there occurred a most beautiful sight, 
the regiments and batteries throughout the army lighted bon-fires 
composed of every material at hand that would burn, besides thou- 
sands of lighted candles flaming from the ridge-poles of the tents. As 
the din of cheers from the delighted troops rose with the evening air, 
it might be said that the enthusiasm of the soldiers was going up in 
smoke. 

On the 27th, Lieut. Gideon Spencer, having received a first lieu- 
tenant's commission in Battery F, then stationed at Richmond, left 
Battery B and proceeded to the late rebel capital. 

On the 30th, the battery took part in the review of the Second 
Corps, by Generals Meade, Hancock, and Humphreys, on the plains 
at Bailey's Cross Roads. Soon after these reviews the troops were 
ordered into the various camps, where they received a final visit from 
the paymaster, and where they separated, some never to meet again. 




1865.] FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 349 



CHAPTER XXV. 



THE RETURN TO RHODE ISLAND AND MUSTER-OUT 
OF SERVICE. 

IT was now known that the men of Battery B were soon to be sent 
home, and Ave awaited with impatience that happy hour. Lieut. 
James E. Chace had received orders to make an inventory of 
all the battery equipments and supplies. The guns and carriages 
were cleaned, the harnesses washed and oiled, and everything was 
put in readiness to be turned in. All attached men were sent to 
their regiments, and all of our detached men returned to the battery. 

On the 31st of May the battery was taken to Washington, and 
parked near the Arsenal grounds having been turned in to the ord- 
nance department. The most serviceable horses were turned over 
to Battery K, Fourth United States Artillery. 

On June 1st, all government property was turned over to the quar- 
termaster's department, and the horses were taken to the corral. In 
the afternoon the last inspection of the men was held, after which 
we were informed that we had been ordered to Rhode Island. 

On the morning of the 3d, after partaking of our last army break- 
fast of hard-tack, pork, and coffee, tents were struck, and with our 
few articles of clothing packed and slung upon our shoulders we 
broke camp, and turning our backs on Virginia marched to Washing- 
ton, D. C. Here we had to wait and passed the time as best we 
could until six p. m. At that hour we boarded the cars and left for 
Baltimore, where upon our arrival we marched to the Pennsylvania 
and New Jersey Railroad station taking the cars from there for 
Philadelphia. Upon our arrival at the Quaker City, we were taken to 
the " Cooper Union " rooms and served with an ample repast. Again 
boarding the cars we left for Jersey City, at which place we embarked 
on a ferry-boat and crossing the North River to New York city again 



350 history of battery b. [June, 1865. 

took cars for Rhode Island, arriving in Providence about nine o'clock 
on the morning of the 5th. We were welcomed with a salute fired by 
the Marine Artillery, and escorted by the Mechanic Rifles, Colonel 
Arnold, to Washington Hall, where we were regaled with an abundant 
collation, after which we were marched to the Silvey barracks on the 
Cove lands west of the railroad station. Here the men were quar- 
tered until they were discharged. In due time the muster-out rolls 
were completed and signed and the men paid. 

Battery B was formally mustered out of the service of the United 
States, Monday, June 12, 1865, with a record of three years and 
eleven months' service in the War of the Rebellion. Its reputation 
made in actual service was of the highest. There was nothing con- 
nected with its organization to particularly impress the minds of the 
people of the State it represented, but those connected with it, and 
particularly those who were with it from the beginning, have always 
been proud of their membership. It is with much gratification that 
its members, when asked the question " What did you serve with?" 
reply : " Battery B, First Rhode Island Light Artillery." 

After receiving their discharge papers the men separated with 
farewell words and hearty good-byes, many never to meet again. 
Others on Memorial Day, the 30th of May of each year, meet to honor 
the memory of comrades who gave their lives for their country's 
cause. At the annual reunions of veteran associations they assemble 
to renew the ties of comradeship formed during the struggle of more 
than four years duration ; a struggle which cost hundreds of thou- 
sands of lives and as many millions of treasure, but which has con- 
ferred, even upon the defeated South, blessings that more than com- 
pensate the country for all her losses. 

By order of General Meade, March 7, 1865, the following names 
of the battles in which Battery B had borne a meritorious part were 
directed to be inscribed on its colors : 

Ball's Bluff, Mine Run, 

Yorktown, Wilderness, 

Fair Oaks, Po River, 

Malvern Hill, Spottsylvania, 

Antietam, North Anna, 

First Fredericksburg, Tolopotomoy, 

Second Fredericksburg, Cold Harbor, 

Gettysburg, Petersburg, 

Bristoe Station, Deep Bottom, 

Reams's Station. 



FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 351 



ROSTER. 



[The names are recorded in the order of the highest rank while in service 
in the battery. The missing dates are owing to the unfinished records, now 
being compiled at the Adjutant's-general's office of Rhode Island.] 



Captains. 

Thomas F. Vaughn. First lieutenant, Battery A, June 6, 1861 ; 
captain, Battery B, Aug. 21, 1861 ; resigned Dec. 2, 1861 ; dis- 
charged Dec. 11, 1861. 

Walter 0. Bartlett. First lieutenant, Battery E, Sept. 28, 1861 ; 
captain, Battery B, Jan. 30, 1862 ; resigned Aug. 13, 1862 ; 
discharged Aug. 19, 1862. 

John G. Hazard. Mustered Aug. 6, 1861, as regimental hospital 
steward ; first lieutenant, Battery C, Aug. 8, 1861 ; transferred 
to Battery A, Sept. 17, 1861 ; captain, Battery B, Aug. 18, 
1862; major April 7, 1864; brevet lieutenant colonel Aug. 1, 
1884 ; lieutenant-colonel April 13, 1865 ; brevet colonel May 
3, 1865 ; colonel June 12, 1865 ; breveted brigadier-general 
to date, May 3, 1865 ; mustered out July 1, 1865. 

T. Fred. Brown. Mustered June 6, 1861, as corporal ; sergeant, 
Battery A ; second lieutenant, Battery C, Aug. 13, 1862 ; first 
lieutenant, Battery B, Dec. 29, 1862 ; wounded July 2, 1863, 
at Gettysburg, Pa. ; adjutant Feb. 17,1864; captain, Battery 
B, April 13, 1864 ; brevet major to date, Dec. 3, 1864 ; brevet 
lieutenant-colonel April 9, 1865 ; major June 2, 1865 ; mustered 
out lieutenant-colonel June 12, 1865. 



352 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, 



First Lieutenants. 



Raymond H. Perry. First lieutenant, Battery B, Aug. 12, 1861 ; 

honorably discharged Oct. 11, 1862. 
George W. Adams. Mustered Aug. 12, 1861 ; first lieutenant, 

Battery B; captain, Battery I, Feb. 6, 1863, to date Jan. 30, 

1863 ; transferred to Battery G, April 22, 1863 ; brevet lieu- 
tenant-colonel April 2, 1865 ; major June 12, 1865 ; mustered 
out June 24, 1865. 

Horace S. Bloodgood. Second lieutenant, Battery B, Aug. 12, 
1861 ; first lieutenant Oct. 13, 1862 ; captain, Battery G, Dec. 
29, 1862 ; resigned ; discharged April 22, 1863. 

T. Fred. Brown. See captain. 

William S. Perrin. Mustered Aug. 25, 1861, as corporal; ser- 
geant March 25, 1862, Battery C ; second lieutenant, Battery B, 
Nov. 11, 1862; first lieutenant March 20, 1863; wounded 
Oct. 14, 1863, at Bristoe Station: reenlisted Feb. 12, 1864; 
wounded and taken prisoner Aug. 25, 1864, at Reams's Sta- 
tion, Va. ; paroled Sept. 12, 1864 ; brevet captain Dec. 2, 

1864 ; discharged for disability from wounds Feb. 4, 1865. 
James E. Chace. Mustered Dec. 2, 1861, as sergeant; second 

lieutenant, Battery G, March 12, 1863 ; first lieutenant, Bat- 
tery B, April 26, 1864 ; taken prisoner Aug. 25, 1864, at 
Reams's Station, Va. ; paroled Feb. 22, 1865 ; mustered out 
June 12, 1865. 
William B. Westcott. Mustered Dec. 2, 1861, as sergeant; 
quartermaster-sergeant, Battery G, June 9, 1862 ; second lieu- 
tenant, Battery H, April 26, 1864 ; first lieutenant, Battery B, 
March 2, 1865; mustered out June 12, 1865. 

Second Lieutenants. 

Horace S. Bloodgood. See first lieutenant. 

Francis A. Smith. Mustered June 6, 1861, as sergeant Battery 
A; second lieutenant, Battery B, Aug. 12, 1861; discharged 
Nov. 28, 1861. 

G. Lyman Dwigiit. Mustered June 6, 1861, as corporal Battery 
A ; second lieutenant, Battery B, Nov. 29, 1861 ; first lieuten- 
ant, Battery A, Nov. 4, 1862 ; adjutant to May 23, 1863 ; mus- 
tered out July 17, 1864. 

William S. Perrin. See first lieutenant. 



FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 



353 



Joseph S. Milne. Mustered Sept. 30, 1861, as sergeant Battery 
E; second lieutenant, Battery B, Nov. 11, 1862; attached to 
Cushing's Battery A, Fourth United States Artillery, June 9, 
1863; mortally wounded July 3, 1863, at Gettysburg, Pa. ; 
died in hospital July 8, 1863. 

Charles A. Brown. Mustered Sept. 30, 1861, as corporal; 
quartermaster-sergeant March 14, 1862, Battery E; second 
lieutenant, Battery B, March 20, 1863 ; taken prisoner May 18, 
1864, returning to Fredericksburg, Va. ; escaped Nov. 4, 1864, 
from prison at Macon, Ga. ; first lieutenant, Battery G, Oct. 21, 
1864; never mustered ; discharged Jan. 31, 1865. 

Willard B. Pierce. Mustered June 6, 1861, as private; first 
sergeant, Battery A ; second lieutenant, Battery B, July 27, 
1863; discharged April 11, 1864. 

Gideon Spencer. Mustered Sept. 4, 1861, as private; sergeant; 
reeniisted Jan. 30, 1864, Battery D ; second lieutenant, Battery 
B, April 26, 1864 ; taken prisoner Aug. 25, 1864, at Reams's 
Station, Va. ; paroled Feb. 22, 1865 ; first lieutenant, Bat- 
tery F, May 16, 1865 ; mustered out June 27, 1865. 

Nathaniel R. Ciiace. Mustered Dec. 2, 1861, as private ; corporal ; 
sergeant June 9, 1862 ; first sergeant Nov. 3, 1864 ; reeniisted 
Dec. 19, 1863, Battery G; second lieutenant, Battery B, Oct. 
21, 1864 ; mustered out June 12, 1865. 

First Sergeants. 

Ernest Staples. Mustered Sept. 11, 1861, as first sergeant; 
transferred to Rhode Island, Dec. 2, 1861. 

George W. Blair. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as sergeant ; first ser- 
geant Dec. 2, 1861 ; discharged Feb. 7, 1863 ; first lieutenant, 
Battery I, to date from Feb. 2, 1863 ; transferred to Battery H, 
April 23, 1863. 

John T. Blake. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as sergeant; first ser- 
geant Feb. 7, 1863 ; wounded July 2, 1863, at Gettysburg, 
Pa. ; discharged Dec. 4, 1863 ; second lieutenant, Battery A, 
Dec. 5, 1863 ; discharged Aug. 19, 1864. 

Alanson A. Williams. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as private ; cor- 
poral Oct. 15, 1862 ; wounded Dec. 13, 1862, at Fredericks- 
burg, Va. ; sergeant Feb. 5, 1863 ; first sergeant Dec. 4, 
1863 ; reeniisted Dec. 18, 1863 ; discharged May 18, 1864 ; 
second lieutenant, Company C, Fourteenth Regiment Rhode 
Island Heavy Artillery, June 6, 1864. 

23 



354 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, 

John F. Hanson. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as private; wounded 
Dec. 13, 1862, at Fredericksburg, Va. ; corporal Feb. 5, 1863 ; 
sergeant Nov. 4, 1863; first sergeant May 18, 1864; mus- 
tered out Aug. 12, 1864. 

Charles H. Adams. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as sergeant; re- 
enlisted Dec. 23, 1863; first sergeant Aug. 12, 1864; killed 
Aug. 25, 1864, at Reams's Station, Va. 

William D. Child. Mustered Oct. 5, 1861, as private; first ser- 
geant ; transferred from Battery A, Sept. 23, 1864 ; discharged 
Oct. 3, 1864. 

Anthony B. Horton. Mustered Aug. 13, 1862, as private ; corporal 
March 25, 1863; sergeant Dec. 1, 1862; reenlisted Feb. 8, 
1864; first sergeant Oct. 3, 1864; discharged Dec. 19, 1864; 
first lieutenant, Battery H, to date from Nov. 29, 1864. 

William J. Kenyon. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as private ; reen- 
listed Feb. 4, 1864; sergeant Oct. 6, 1864; first sergeant 
Dec. 19, 1864 ; second lieutenant May 16, 1865 ; not mustered ; 
mustered out June 12, 1865. 

Quartermaster-Sergeants. 

William S. Dyer. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as quartermaster- 
sergeant ; discharged for disability Dec. 1, 1862. 

Charles A. Libbey. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as corporal; ser- 
geant Dec. 15, 1861; quartermaster sergeant Dec. 1, 1862; 
mustered out Aug. 12, 1864. 

Amos M. C. Olney. Mustered June 6, 1861, as private ; sergeant ; 
reenlisted Dec. 19, 1863; transferred from' Battery A, Sept. 
23, 1864; quartermaster-sergeant Aug. 12, 1864; mustered 
out June 12, 1865. 

Sergeants. 

Jacob B. Lewis. Mustered, Aug. 13, 1861, as sergeant; acting 
first sergeant until Sept. 11, 1861; discharged for disability 
Dec. 13, 1861. 

John McComb, or McCoombs. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; dis- 
charged for disability Dec. 13, 1861. 

Silas G. Tucker. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861; wounded Oct. 21, 
1861, at Ball's Bluff, Va, ; discharged for disability from 
wounds Oct. 22, 1862. 



FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 355 

Richard H. Gallup. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as private ; corporal 
Oct. 1, 1861; sergeant Dec. 15, 1861; resigned to private 
Nov. 24, 1863, and attached to Artillery Brigade Headquarters 
as butcher; mustered out Aug. 12, 1864. 

John E. Wardlow. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as private; ser- 
geant Dec. 15, 1861 ; discharged Oct. 24, 1863; second lieu- 
tenant, Rhode Island Volunteers, Oct. 24, 1863 ; first lieutenant, 
Company E, Fourteenth Regiment Rhode Island Heavy Artil- 
lery, Dec. 3, 1863. 

Leonard J. Whiting. Mustered Aug. 25, 1861, as corporal ; 
transferred from Battery C, Jan. 1, 1862; sergeant March 16, 
1862; discharged March 29, 1862; second lieutenant, Sixth 
Regiment Rhode Island Volunteers, to date March 27, 1862 ; 
transferred to Company E, First Rhode Island Cavalry. 

Albert Straight. Mustered Oct. 2, 1861, as private; lance cor- 
poral Nov. 20, 1861 ; corporal Dec. 15, 1861 ; sergeant May 
12, 1862; died Nov. 16, 1863, at Fairfax Cemetery Hospital, 
Virginia. 

Edwin A. Chase. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as corporal ; sergeant 
Jan. 26, 1863 ; wounded July 2, 1863, at Gettysburg, Pa. ; 
mustered out Aug. 12, 1864. 

John H. Rhodes. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as private ; lance cor- 
poral Nov. 18, 1862 ; corporal Oct. 7, 1863 ; sergeant Nov. 24, 
1863 ; mustered out Aug. 12, 1864. 

Pardon S. Walker. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as private ; corpo- 
ral Oct. 1, 1861; sergeant Dec. 4, 1863; mustered out Aug. 
12, 1864. 

Calvin L. Macomber. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as private; cor- 
poral March 24, 1863 ; reenlisted Dec. 18, 1863 ; sergeant 
Aug. 12, 1864 ; wounded and taken prisoner Aug. 25, 1864, at 
Reams's Station, Va. ; paroled Sept. 1, 1864; mustered out 
June 12, 1865. 

Charles J. Rider. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as private; reen- 
listed Dec. 20, 1863 ; corporal May 12, 1864 ; sergeant Aug. 
12, 1864; taken prisoner Aug. 25, 1864, at Reams's Station, 
Va. ; paroled Sept. 1, 1864 ; mustered out June 12, 1865. 

Aborn W. Carter. Mustered March 24, 1862, as private ; cor- 
poral May 27, 1862 ; sergeant Aug. 12, 1864 ; wounded Aug. 
25, 1864, at Reams's Station, k Va. ; mustered out March 24, 
1865. 



356 HISTOKY OF BATTERY B, 

Robert L. Johnson. Mustered Aug. 16, 1862, as private; corpo- 
ral; sergeant; transferred from Battery A, Sept. 23, 1864; 
mustered out June 12, 1865. 

Amos H. Armington. Mustered May 22, 1862, as private; ser- 
geant; transferred from Battery A, Sept. 23, 1864; mustered 
out May 21, 1865. 

Charles E. Smith. Mustered July 17, 1862; transferred from 
Battery A, Sept. 23, 1864 ; mustered out June 12, 1865. 

Corporals. 

Washington C. Haskins. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as corporal; 
wounded Oct. 21, 1861, at Ball's Bluff, Va. ; discharged for 
disability from wounds Sept. 22, 1862. 

Luther C. Olnev. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as corporal : wounded 
Oct. 21, 1861, at Ball's Bluff, Va. ; died Oct. 22, 1862, in hos- 
pital at North Providence, R. I. 

David B. Patterson. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as corporal; ran 
over June 29, 1862, fracturing both legs, and taken prisoner at 
White Oak Swamp, Va. ; paroled Aug. 1, 1862 ; discharged for 
disability March 25, I860. 

Calvin W. Rathbone. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as corporal; 
wounded July 1, 1802, at Malvern Hill, Va. ; wo;mded Dec. 
13, 1862, at Fredericksburg, Va. ; discharged for disability 
from wounds June 24, 1864. 

Edward B. Whipple. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as corporal ; mus- 
tered out Aug. 12, 1864. 

William M. Tanner. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as private; cor- 
poral Oct. 1, 1861 ; missing Oct. 21, 1861, at Ball's Bluff, Va. 

Charles B. Worthington. Mustered Aug. 13, 1S61, as private ; 
corporal Oct. 1, 1861 ; wounded July 2, 1863, at Gettysburg, 
Pa. ; wounded May 5, 1864, at Wilderness, Va. ; mustered 
out Aug. 12, 1864. 

William A. Dickerson. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as private; 
corporal March 3, 1862 ; died Nov. 1, 1862, in hospital at Har- 
per's Ferry, Va. 

William Hamilton. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as private; corpo- 
ral March 13, 1802 ; died Dec. 4, 1862, in hospital at Freder- 
ick, Md. 

AVilliam P. Wells. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as private ; corporal 
March 25, 1862; wounded Dec. 13, 1862, at Fredericksburg, 
Va. ; discharged for disability from wounds March 27, 1863. 



FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 357 

John Aspin wall. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 , as private ; wounded 
Oct. 21, 1861, at Ball's Bluff, Va. ; corporal May 12, 1862; 
discharged Oct. 25, 1862, on surgeon's certificate. 

William W. Pearce. Mustered Aug. 23, 1862, as private; cor- 
poral Oct. 1, 1862; mustered out June 12, 1865. 

John Delevan. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as private; corporal 
Oct. 1, 1862; lance sergeant Aug., Sept., Oct., 1863; mus- 
tered out Aug. 12, 1864. 

Samuel J. Goldsmith. Mustered Aug. 11, 1862; corporal Dec. 
1, 1862 ; lance sergeant Sept. 1, 1863 ; resigned to private May 
12, 1864; taken prisoner Aug. 25, 1864, at Reams's Station, 
Va. ; paroled Nov. 26, 1864 ; discharged May 23, 1865. 

Henry H. Ballou. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as private ; corporal 
Jan. 31, 1863 ; lance sergeant May 16, 1863 ; mortally wounded 
July 2, 1863, at Gettysburg, Pa. ; died of wounds, July 4, 
1863, in field hospital. 

Nelson E. Perry. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as private; corporal 
March 24, 1863 ; reenlisted Dec. 20, 1863 ; deserted while on 
furlough ; arrested and sentenced March 27, 1865, to hard labor 
on government works. 

Charles W. Wood. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; corporal April 8, 
1863; reenlisted Dec. 18, 1863; lance sergeant April 17, 
1864; reduced to private May 19, 1864; mustered out June 
12, 1865. 

Stillman H. Budlong. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as private ; cor- 
poral May 12, 1864 ; mustered out Aug. 12, 1864. 

Benjamin A. Burlingame. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as private; 
reenlisted Feb. 4, 1864 ; corporal May 12, 1864; mustered out 
June 12, 1865. 

Charles H. Paine. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as private ; wounded 
July 2, 1863, at Gettysburg, Pa. ; corporal May 12, 1864 ; 
mustered out Aug. 12, 1864. 

John B. Mowry. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as private; corporal 
May 12, 1864; mustered out Aug. 12, 1864. 

Josiah McMeekin. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as private; corporal 
May 12, 1864; mustered out Aug. 12, 1864. 

Patrick Brady. Mustered Feb. 11, 1862, as private; reenlisted 
Feb. 11, 1864 ; corporal Aug. 12, 1864 ; mustered out June 12, 
1865. 



358 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, 

Samuel H. Collington. Mustered Jan. 5, 1862, as private ; cor- 
poral Aug. 12, 1864; taken prisoner Aug. 25, 1864, at Reams's 
Station, Va. ; enlisted in rebel army Oct. 12, 1864; dropped 
from battery rolls as deserter. 

William H. Maxcy. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as private; 
wounded July 2, 1863, at Gettysburg, Pa. ; reenlisted Feb. 4, 
1864; corporal Aug. 12, 1864; wounded and taken prisoner 
Aug. 25, 1864, at Reams's Station, Va. ; paroled Sept. 1, 1864 ; 
mustered out June 12, 1865. 

Francis F. Priestly. Mustered March 19, 1862, as private; re- 
enlisted March 25, 1864; corporal Aug. 12, 1864; mustered 
out June 12, 1865. 

Francis H. Angell. Mustered Aug. 1, 1862, as private; corpo- 
ral; transferred from Battery A, Sept. 23, 1864; mustered out 
June 12, 1865. 

William H. Hunter. Mustered Aug. 5, 1862, as private ; corpo- 
ral ; transferred from Battery A, Sept. 23, 1864 ; mustered out 
June 12, 1865. 

Michael Kean. Mustered June 16, 1862, as private; corporal; 
transferred from Battery A, Sept. 23, 1864 ; mustered out 
June 12, 1865. 

James Malany. Mustered Aug. 2, 1864, as private: corporal; 
transferred from Battery A, Sept. 23, 1864 ; mustered out 
June 12, 1865. 

Francis E. Phillips. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as private; 
wounded Sept. 17, 1862, at Antietam, Md. ; reenlisted Feb. 15, 
1864; transferred from Battery A, Sept. 23; 1864 ; mustered 
out June 12, 1865. 

Buglers. 

Eben S. Crowningshield. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as first bu- 
gler ; wounded July 2, 1863, at Gettysburg, Pa.; discharged 
Aug. 12, 1864. 

Henry Cokely. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as second bugler; dis- 
charged Jan. 5, 1863, on surgeon's'certificate. 

John F. Leach. Temporarily attached Sept. 10, 1863, as bugler; 
returned to Battery A, Nov. 23, 1863. 

John Doyle. Attached from Twentieth Massachusetts May 2, 
1863; bugler Nov. 23, 1863; reenlisted Feb. 2, 1864; re- 
turned to his rejriment. 



FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 359 

James F. Jerrollman. Mustered Aug. 29, 1862, as bugler; 
transferred from Battery A, Sept. 23, 1 86-1 ; mustered out June 
12, 1865. 

Artificers. 

Daniel B. Thurston. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as blacksmith; 
discharged for disability March 19, 1863. 

Welcome C. Tucker. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as blacksmith; 
discharged Feb. 25, 1862, on surgeon's certificate for disability. 

William H. Cornell. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as private; 
wounded Dec. 3, 1862, at Fredericksburg, Va. ; blacksmith 
Aug. 1, 1863 ; mustered out Aug. 12, 1864. 

Joseph B. Place. Mustered Aug. 13, 1862, as private; transfer- 
red from Battery G, Feb. 28, 1863 ; blacksmith March 1, 1863 ; 
mustered out June 12, 1865. 

Edward M. Peckham. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as harness 
maker; mustered out Aug. 12, 1864. 

Daniel C. Taylor. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as harness maker; 
transferred to Veteran Reserve Corps Nov. 15, 1863 ; discharged 
Aug. 12, 1864. 

Isaac W. Slack. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as wheelwright; dis- 
charged Dec. 1. 1861, for disability. 

Albert H. Cornell. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as private ; wheel- 
wright Dec. 15, 1861 ; mustered out Aug. 12, 1864. 

James A. Sweet. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as private; wheel- 
wright Jan. 2, 1862 ; mustered out Aug. 12, 1864. 

George O. Scott. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as farrier; reduced 
to private Nov. 21, 1862; mustered out Aug. 12, 1864. 

Robert S. Niles. Mustered Aug. 7, 1862, as private ; stable ser- 
geant Nov. 21, 1862 ; mustered out June 12, 1865. 

Welcome A. Collins. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as private ; wag- 
oner, Oct. 31, 1861 ; mustered out Aug. 12, 1864, as private. 

John Eatock. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as private; wagoner 
Sept. 7, 1861 ; reenlisted Dec. 18, 1853 ; mustered out June 
12, 1865. 

Henry E. Guiles. Mustered Oct. 2, 1861, as private; wagoner 

Feb. 7, 1862; discharged Oct. 3, 1864. 
RobertA. Niles. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as private; wagoner 

Oct. 31, 1861 ; mustered out Aug. 12, 1864. 



360 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, 

Privates. 

Adams, Charles H. See first sergeant. 

Adlington, Henry. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; discharged for dis- 
ability, Dec. 18, 1861, at Poolesville, Md. 

Anderson, John. Mustered Aug. 18, 1864 ; transferred from Bat- 
tery A, Sept. 23, 1864 ; mustered out June 12, 1865. 

Andrews, Albert. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861; discharged for dis- 
ability Sept. 5, 1861, at Camp Sprague, Washington, D. C. 

Andrews, Mowry L. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; wounded July 2, 
1863, at Gettysburg, Md. ; mustered out Aug. 12, 1864. 

Angell, Francis H. See corporal. 

Armington, Amos H. See sergeant. 

Arnold, John A. Mustered Aug. 13,1861; brigade butcher July 
18, 1863; mustered out Aug. 12, 1864. 

Aspinwall, John. See corporal. 

Austin, George H. Mustered March 6, 1865 ; mustered out June 
12, 1865. 

Austin, George R. Mustered Oct. 5, 1861 ; died Aug. 31, 1862, 
in hospital at Hampton, Va. 

Austin, Russell. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; wounded July 2, 
1863, at Gettysburg, Pa. ; mustered out Aug. 12, 1864. 

Aldrich, George N. Mustered April 8, 1864; transferred from 
Battery A, Sept. 23, 1864 ; mustered out June 12, 1865. 

Baker, George C. Mustered March 6, 1865 ; mustered out June 
12, 1865. 

Baker, Leander. Mustered March 2, 1865 ; mustered out June 
12, 1865. 

Ballou, Henry H. See corporal. 

Barber, Henry J. Mustered April 1, 1862 ; died Dec. 2, 1862, in 
hospital at Warrenton, Va. 

Barber, Thomas J. Mustered March 24, 1862 ; mustered out 
March 24, 1865. 

Bartlett, Frederick F. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; discharged 
for disability Dec. 18, 1861, at Poolesville, Md. 

Bartlett, George O. Mustered Aug. 23, 1862 ; discharged for 
disability Aug. 12, 1864. 

Bennett, Samuel A. Mustered Feb. 21, 1865 ; mustered out June 
12, 1865. 

Bouden, Charles H. Mustered Aug. 24, 1864 ; mustered out 
June 12, 1865. 



FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 361 

Boyle, John L. Mustered Jan. 1, 1863 ; wounded July 3, 1863, 

at Gettysburg, Pa. ; deserted July 17, 1863. 
Blair, George W. See first sergeant. 
Blake, John T. See first sergeant. 
Brady Patrick. See corporal. 
Bragg, William A. Mustered July 8, 1864; transferred from 

Battery A, Sept. 23, 1864 ; mustered out June 12, 1865. 
Brayton, Frederick. Mustered March 7, 1865 ; mustered out 

June 12, 1865. 
Brickley, Arthur W. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; mustered out 

Aug. 12, 1864. 
Briggs, Erastus D. Mustered March 27, 1862 ; discharged March 

27, 1865. 
Bromley, Henry W. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; wounded Oct. 21, 

1861, at Ball's Bluff, Va. ; lance corporal Jan. 1, 1862; re- 
duced May 27, 1862 ; discharged for disability March 11, 1863. 

Brown, David. Mustered Jan. 3, 1863; deserted Jan. 17, 1863. 

Brown, Fenner A. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861; disabled by cars 
Aug. 15, 1861, at Camden, N. J. ; transferred to Veteran Re- 
serve Corps Oct. 22, 1863 ; returned to battery Feb. 1, 1864; 
died Aug. 6, 1864, in hospital at David's Island, N. Y. 

Bucklin, John. Mustered Feb. 23, 1865 : mustered out June 12, 
1865. 

Budlong, Lorenzo D. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; wounded Dec. 
13, 1862, at Fredericksburg, Va. ; discharged for disability 
from wounds, April 12, 1863. 

Budlong, Stillman H. See corporal. 

Burlingame Benjamin A. See corporal. 

Burt Allen. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; mustered out Aug. 12, 
1864. 

Burton, Hazard W. Mustered March 24, 1862; died Oct. 15, 

1862, in hospital at Fort Ellsworth, Va. 

Burton, Joseph C. Mustered March 26, 1862 ; died Dec. 17, 1862, 
in hospital at Falmouth, Va. 

Butcher, William. Mustered Feb. 21, 1865 ; mustered out June 
12, 1865. 

Butler, Jeremiah. Mustered Feb. 13, 1365 ; mustered out June 
12, 1865. 

Butts, Charles P. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; discharged for dis- 
ability April 29, 1862. 



362 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, 

Capron, Daniel. Mustered Feb. 19, 1862 ; transferred to Veteran 
Reserve Corps, Oct. 22, 1862 ; mustered out May 17, 1865. 

Carlton, Charles. Mustered Feb. 16, 1865 ; mustered out June 
12, 1865. 

Carmichael, Morris. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; lance corporal 
Dec. 15, 1861; reduced March 13, 1862; wounded Dec. 13, 
1862, at Fredericksburg, Va. ; discharged for disability from 
wounds, May 16, 186". 

Carr, Hugh. Mustered Aug. 10, 1864 ; mustered out June 12, 
1865. 

Carroll, Joseph. Transferred to battery May 27, 1865 ; mustered 
out June 12, 1865. 

Carter, Aborn W. See sergeant. 

Cassen, Charles H. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; discharged for dis- 
ability Oct. 23, 1862. 

Cassen, Joseph S. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; taken prisoner July 
2, 1863, at Gettysburg, Pa. ; paroled on field; taken prisoner 
Oct. 14, 1863, at Bristoe Station, Va. ; exchanged Nov. 27, 
1864; discharged Jan. 8, 1865. 

Chase, Edwin A. See sergeant. 

Champlin, William H. Mustered Aug. 12, 1864; mustered out 
June 12, 1865. 

Chappell, Adolphus A. Mustered March 7, 1865 ; mustered out 
June 12, 1865. 

Chappell, Edward H. Mustered July 18, 1862 ; transferred from 
Battery A, Sept. 23, 1864 ; mustered out June 12, 1865. 

Child, William D. See first sergeant. 

Clarance, John. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; discharged for dis- 
ability March 21, 1863. 

Clark, Charles. Mustered Dec. 19, 1862; died Oct. 21, 1863, 
in hospital at Washington, D. C. 

Clark, John H. Mustered March 24, 1862 ; reenlisted March 25, 
1864; mustered out June 12, 1865. 

Clark, George P. Mustered May 4, 1864 ; transferred from Bat- 
tery A, Sept. 23, 1864 ; mustered out June 12, 1865. 

Clark, Napoleon B. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as corporal; 
reduced Sept. 7, 1862; mustered out Aug. 12, 1864. 

Clark, William O. Mustered March 24, 1862; discharged for 
disability March 11. 1864. 

Cokley, Henry. See bugler. 



FIKST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 363 

Coburn, Andrew S. Mustered Aug. 17, 1862; transferred from 
Battery A, Sept. 23, 1864 ; mustered out June 12, 1865. 

Cole, Joseph A. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; discharged for dis- 
ability Sept. 14, 1863, on surgeon's certificate. 

Collington, Samuel A. See corporal. 

Collins, Stephen. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; mustered out Aug. 
12, 1864. 

Collins, Welcome A. See artificer. 

Cook, Joseph. Mustered March 27, 1864 ; transferred from Bat- 
tery A, Sept. 23, 1864; mustered out June 12, 1865. 

Cooke, John. Mustered March 6, 1865; mustered out June 12, 
1865. 

Cooper, Benjamin. Mustered Aug. 31, 1864; mustered out June 
12, 1865. 

Conlin, Owen. Mustered Feb. 15, 1865; mustered out June 12, 
1865. 

Cornell, Albert H. See artificer. 

Cornell, Charles. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; taken prisoner Oct. 
21, 1861, at Ball's Bluff, Va. ; exchanged; wagoner three months 
in 1863; mustered out Aug. 12, 1864. 

Cornell. Levi J. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; wounded May 5, 
1864, at Wilderness, Va. ; mustered out Aug. 12, 1864. 

Cornell, William H. See artificer. 

Conners, Michael. Mustered Feb. 13, 1865 ; mustered out June 
12, 1865. 

Ccstin, William. Mustered Oct. 4, 1862 ; wounded and taken 
prisoner Ang. 25, 1864. at Reams's Station, Va. ; transferred 
from Battery A, Sept. 23, 1864 ; paroled April 28, 1865 ; mus- 
tered out June 12, 1865. 

Cottrell, Charles. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; discharged for dis- 
ability Sept. 8, 1861, at Washington, D, C. 

Cowen, John. Mustered Jan. 28, 1863, at Falmouth, Va., by 
Capt. John G. Hazard. Deserted March 20, 1863. 

Craven, John F. Mustered Feb. 15, 1862 ; mustered out Feb. 18, 
1865. 

Crowningshield, Eben S. See bugler. 

Cruikshank, James. Mustered Sept. 12, 1864 ; mustered out June 
12, 1365. 

Cummings, Martin. Mustered Jan. 5, 1863 ; transferred from 
Twentieth Massachusetts Regiment ; deserted May 13, 1863. 



364 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, 

Dele van, John. See corporal. 

Dennis, William. Mustered Aug. 13, 1862; reenlisted Feb. 11, 
1864 ; killed May 9, 1864, at Po River, Va. 

Dempster, Thomas. Mustered Oct. 15, 1862 ; transferred from 
Battery A, Sept. 23, 1864 ; mustered out June 12, 1865. 

Dermondy, Patrick. Mustered Feb. 2, 1864 ; transferred from 
Battery A, Sept. 23, 1864 ; mustered out June 12, 1865. 

Devens, Charles S. Mustered March 7, 1865 ; mustered out 
June 12, 1865. 

Dickerson, William A. See corporal. 

Dodge, Rowland L. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as company clerk 
and guidon; discharged March 11, 1863; second lieutenant, 
Company L, Third Regiment Rhode Island Heavy Artillery, 
March 2, 1863. 

Donnelly, Thomas. Mustered Feb. 29, 1864 ; wounded and taken 
prisoner, Aug. 25, 1864, at Reams's Station, Va. ; transferred 
from Battery A, Sept. 23, 1864 ; (no later record). 

Dore, Daniel C. Mustered April 29, 1864 ; transferred from Bat- 
tery A, Sept. 23, 1864; discharged July 13, 1865. 

Doyle, Bernard. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; wounded July 3, 
1863, at Gettysburg, Pa. ; taken prisoner Oct. 14, 1863, near 
Bristoe Station, Va. ; paroled Nov. 24, 1864 ; discharged Jan. 

11, 1865. 

Duffy, Michael. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861; wounded July 2, 
1863, at Gettysburg, Va. ; mustered out Aug. 12, 1864. 

Dugan, Edward. Mustered Feb. 22, 1865; mustered out June 12, 
1865. 

Dunbar, Francis. Mustered Feb. 13, 1865 ; mustered out June 

12, 1865. 

Dyer, William S. See quartermaster-sergeant. 

Eaton. Martin V. B. Mustered Aug. 18, 1861 ; wounded and 
taken prisoner, Oct. 14, 1863, at Bristoe Station, Va. ; paroled 
oilfield; mustered out Aug. 12, 1864. 

Eatock, John. See artificer. 

England, Samuel. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; discharged for dis- 
ability Jan. 26, 1862. 

Falvey, James. Mustered Feb. 16, 18(55; mustered out June 12, 
1865. 

Felt, Daniel W. Mustered Jan. 5, 1863 ; wounded July 3, 1863, 
at Gettysburg, Pa. ; transferred to Veteran Reserve Corps, 
Nov. 15, 1863; discharged Sept. 15, 1865. 



FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 



365 



Fisher, Joseph. Mustered July 26, 1864 ; mustered out June 12, 

1865. 
Fleming, James. Mustered Feb. 13, 1865 ; mustered out June 12, 

1865. 
Fletcher, Calvin C. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; reenlisted Dec. 

20, 1863 ; mustered out June 12, 1865. 
Ford, Patrick. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; reenlisted Dec. 20, 

1863 ; mustered out June 12, 1865. 
Ford, Martin C. Mustered April 5, 1864 ; mustered out June 12, 

1865. 
Franklin, George A. Mustered June 6, 1861 ; transferred from 

Battery A, Sept. 10, 1861 ; deserted Oct. 27, 1862, at Bolivar, 

Va. 
Fried, Charles. Mustered Jan. 5, 1863 ; mustered out June 12, 

1865. 
Gallup, Richard H. See sergeant. 
Gallup, William H. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; deserted July 3, 

1863, at Gettysburg, Pa. 
Gardner, Alfred G. Mustered Aug. 12, 1862 ; killed July 3, 

1863, at Gettysburg, Pa. 
Gardner, Henry A. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; wounded Dec. 13, 

1862, at Fredericksburg, Va. ; discharged for disability from 

wounds, Sept. 10, 1S63. 
Gilmore, Albert T. Mustered Feb. 18, 1865 ; mustered out June 

12, 1865. 
Godfrey, Edward L. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; discharged for 

disability, Dec. 1, 1862. 
Goff, Joseph B. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; transferred to Veteran 

Reserve Corps, Oct. 22, 1863. 
Goff, Rufus. Mustered Aug, 13, 1861 ; discharged for disability, 

Oct. 26, 1862. 
Goldsmith, Samuel J. See corporal. 
Glover, James. Mustered March 2, 1865 ; mustered out June 12, 

1865. 
Gladding, Arthur M. Mustered March 3, 1865; mustered out 

June 12, 1865. 
Glynn, John. Mustered Aug. 13,1861 ; reenlisted Dec. 21, 1863 ; 

killed Aug. 25, 1864, at Reams's Station, Va. 
Green, Caleb 14. H. Mustered Oct. 5, 1861 ; wounded Dec. 13, 

1862, at Fredericksburg, Va. ; transferred to Veteran Reserve 

Corps, Oct. 9, 1863 ; discharged Oct. 24, 1864. 



366 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, 

Green, John. Mustered Feb. 13, 1862; wounded slightly July 1, 

1862, at Malvern Hill, Va. ; wounded July 3, 1863, at Gettys- 
burg, Pa. ; died of wounds July 16, 1863, in hospital. 

Green, John. Mustered Aug. 16, 1862; transferred from Battery 

A, Sept. 23, 1864 ; mustered out June 12, 1865. 
Green, William. Mustered March 6, 1865. Mustered out June 

12, 1865. 
Greenwood, William H. Mustered Feb. 13, 1865 ; mustered out 

June 12, 1865. 
Grinnell, George A. Mustered Feb. 13, 1865 ; mustered out June 

12, 1865. 
Guiles, Henry E. See artificer. 
Haak, Claudius H. Mustered March 8, 1865 ; mustered out June 

12, 1865. 
Hall, Herbert H. Mustered March 30, 1864 ; mustered out June 

12, 1865. 
Hamilton, William. See corporal. 
Hammond, Joseph. Mustered Jan. 1, 1863; wounded July 3, 

1863, at Gettysburg, Pa. ; deserted July 17, 1863. 
Hampston, John. Mustered March 16, 1864 ; taken prisoner Aug. 

25, 1864, at Reams's Station, Va. ; transferred from Battery 
A, Sept. 23, 1864 ; released April, 1865 ; mustered out June 

12, 1865. 

Hanson, John F. See first sergeant. 

Hare, Daniel. Mustered Dec. 30, 1862 ; deserted April 28, 1863, 

at Falmouth, Va. 
Harrison, James "M. Mustered Oct. 6, 1862 ; wounded July 2, 

1863, at Gettysburg, Pa. ; transferred from Battery A, Sept. 

23, 1864 ; mustered out June 12, 1865. 
Hart, Bartholomew. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; wounded Dec. 

13, 1862, at Fredericksburg, Va. ; mustered out Aug. 12,1864. 
Haskell, Solomon A. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861; reiinlisted Feb. 

4, 1864 ; mustered out Jutie 12, 1865. 
Haskins, Washington C. See corporal. 
Hathaway, George. Mustered Aug. 6, 1862 ; transferred from 

Battery A, Sept. 23, 1864 ; mustered out June 12, 1865. 
Hawkins, Charles E. Mustered Oct. 2, 1862 ; mustered out Oct. 

3, 1864. 
Havens, Harris. Mustered March 7, 1865 : mustered out June 

12, 1865. 



FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 



367 



Healy, John. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; taken prisoner July 18, 
1863, in Loudon Valley, Va. ; exchanged ; reenlisted Dec. 18, 
1863 ; mustered out June 12, 1865. 

Henderson, Robert. Mustered March 7, 1865 ; mustered out 
June 12, 1865. 

Hendrick, Albert E. Mustered Oct. 2, 1862; wounded Dec. 13, 
1862, at Frederickshurg, Va. ; died of wounds Dec. 23, 1862, 
at Falmouth, Va. 

Hendrick, Asa F. Mustered Aug. 9, 1864; transferred from 
Battery A, Sept. 23, 1864 ; mustered out June 12, 1865. 

Herman, Frederick G. Mustered Oct. 14, 1862; wounded and 
taken prisoner Aug. 26, 1864, at Reams's Station, Va. ; trans- 
ferred from Battery A, Sept. 23, 1864 ; died Nov. 4, 1864, at 
Salisbury, N. C. 

Holland, John. Mustered Aug. 12, 1864 ; transferred from Bat- 
tery A, Sept. 23, 1864 ; mustered out June 12, 1865. 

Holmes, Henry S. Mustered March 6, 1865 ; mustered out June 
12, 1865. 

Horton, Anthony B. See first sergeant. 

Houston, Charles. Mustered Sept. 1, 1864; mustered out June 

12, 1865. 

Howard, Edward. Mustered Aug. 13, 1S61 ; mustered out Aug. 

13, 1864. 

Hoyle, Joseph. Mustered Feb. 24, 1864 ; transferred from Bat- 
tery A, Sept. 23, 1864 ; mustered out June 12, 1865. 

Hughes, James. Mustered March 8, 1865 ; mustered out June 12, 
lb65. 

Hunt, Chester F. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; killed Oct. 14, 1863, 
at Bristoe Station, Va. 

Hunt, Walter S. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; discharged for dis- 
ability Feb. 7, 1863. 

Hunter, "William H. See corporal. 

Ide, Sylvester G. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; corporal Oct. 1, 
1861 ; lance sergeant Dec. 15, 1861 ; reduced March 1. 1862 ; 
discharged for disability Oct. 22, 1862. 

Ingalls, George. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; transferred to Vet- 
eran Reserve Corps, Oct. 22, 1863. 

Irons, Lewis W. Mustered March 9, 1865; mustered out June 
12, 1865. 

Jencks, Hezekiah. Transferred from Battery D, Jan. 20, 1862 ; 
discharged for disability Aug. 12, 1862. 



368 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, 

Jerrollman, James F. See bugler. 

Johnson, Gilbert. Mustered Aug. 18, 1862 ; transferred from 

Battery A, Sept. 23, 1864 ; mustered out June 12, 1865. 
Johnson, Josiah. Mustered Aug. 17, 1864 ; mustered out June 

12, 1865. 
Johnson, Robert L. See sergeant. 
Jones, AVilliam. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; lance corporal Dec. 15, 

1861 ; reduced Sept. 7, 1862; killed July 3, 1863, at Gettys- 
burg, Pa. 
Jordan, William T. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; reenlisted March 

25, 1864; guidon Jan. 1, 1865; mustered out June 12, 1865. 
Kane, John. Mustered Dec. 20, 1862; deserted April 28, 1863, 

at Falmouth, Va. 
Kean, Michael. See corporal. 
Kelly, John. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; reenlisted Dec. 21, 1863 ; 

mustered out June 12, 1865. 
Kelly, Patrick. Mustered July 27, 1864 ; mustered out June 12, 

1865. 
Kendrick, John. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; mustered out Aug. 

12, 1864. 
Kenney, Michael. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 : reenlisted Dec. 19, 

1863 ; transferred from Battery A, Sept. 23, 1864 ; mustered 

out June 12, 1865. 
Kenyon, William J. See first sergeant. 
Kimpton, George H. Mustered Feb. 28, 1865 ; mustered out 

June 12, 1865. 
Kine, James. Mustered April 18, 1864; transferred from Battery 

A, Sept. 23, 1864 ; mustered out June 12, 1865. 
King, Dayid B. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; killed July 2, 1863, at 

Gettysburg, Pa. 
Knowles, Edwin H. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as corporal ; reduced 

Sept. 7, 1862 ; wounded Dec. 13, 1862, at Fredericksburg, Va. ; 

mustered out Aug. 12, 1864. 
Laird, Rop.ert A. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; lance corporal Dec. 

15,1861; reduced March 26,1862; mustered out Aug. 12, 

1864. 
Larkin, Patrick. Mustered Aug. 6, 1862 ; transferred from Bat- 
tery A, Sept. 23, 1864 ; mustered out June 12, 1865. 
Leach, Joseph. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; discharged for disabil- 
ity May 12, 1862. 



FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 369 

Lee, Ralph. Mustered Oct. 3, 1864 ; mustered out June 12, 1865. 
Leonard, Getz. Mustered Feb. 2, 1864 ; discharged for disability- 
July 22, 1865. 
Lewis, Jacob B. See sergeant. 
Lewis, Thomas S. Mustered March 8, 1865 ; mustered out June 

12, 1865. 
Libbey, Charles A. See quartermaster-sergeant. 
Luther, Joseph. Mustered Feb. 9, 1862 ; died Feb. 24, 1863, in 

hospital at Washington, D. C. 
Macomber, Calvin L. See sergeant. 
Maiire, Frederic. Mustered Jan. 5, 1862; deserted Jan. 17, 

1863, at Falmouth, Va. ; arrested Feb. 14, 1863 ; sentenced to 

hard labor on government works. 
Maine, Nelson B. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; mustered out Aug. 

12, 1864. 
Malany, James. See corporal. 

Martin, Thomas J. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; discharged for dis- 
ability Dec. 18, 1861. 
Mason, Henry A. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; mustered out Aug. 

12, 1864. 
Mason, Lucius M. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; taken prisoner 

Nov. 23, 1862, near Warrenton, Va. ; exchanged July, 1864 ; 

mustered out Aug. 12, 1864. 
Matteson, Benjamin W. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; wounded 

Oct. 21, 1861, at Ball's Bluff, Va. ; discharged for disability 

from wounds Aug. 21, 1862. 
Matteson, George R. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; Avounded Oct. 

21, 1861, at Ball's Bluff, Va. ; lance corporal Sept. 7, 1862; 

wounded July 3, 1863 ; reduced to private May 12, 1864 ; 

mustered out Aug. 12, 1864. 
Matteson, William F. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; taken prisoner 

Oct. 21, 1861, at Ball's Bluff, Va. ; exchanged May 28, 1862 ; 

mustered out Aug. 12, 1864. 
Maxcy, William H. See corporal. 
McAllen, Arthur J. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; discharged for 

disability Dec. 18, 1861, at Poolesville, Md. 
McCann, Michael. Mustered Feb. 13, 1865 ; mustered out June 

12, 1865. 
McCarney, Michael. Mustered Feb. 13, 1865 ; mustered out 

June 12, 1865. 

24 



370 HISTORY OP BATTERY B, 

McConney, Edward. Mustered March 6, 1865; mustered out 

June 12, 1865. 
McComb, John. See sergeant. 
McCullum, William. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; reenlisted Dec. 

18, 1863 ; transferred to the United States navy April 6, 1864. 
McDonald, Owen. Mustered Aug. 6, 1862 ; transferred from 

Battery A, Sept. 23, 1864 ; mustered out June 12, 1865. 
McFarlin, John. Mustered March 4, 1865; mustered out June 

12, 1865. 
McGovern, John. Mustered March 6, 1865 ; mustered out June 

12, 1865. 
McGuinness, Edward. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; discharged for 

disability March 12, 1863. 
McGunnigle, George. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; wounded July 

3, 1863, at Gettysburg, Pa. ; transferred to Veteran Reserve 

Corps, June 17, 1864. 
McGunnigle, James. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; reenlisted Dec. 

22, 1863 ; mustered out Juue 12, 1865. 
McMeektn, Josiah. See corporal. 
McNamara, Thomas. Mustered March 19, 1864 ; taken prisoner 

Aug. 25, 1864, at Reams's Station, Va. ; transferred from Bat- 
tery A, Sept. 23, 1864; paroled Feb. 20, 1865; mustered out 

June 12, 1865. 
Meredith, Alexander. Mustered Feb. 23, 1865 ; mustered out 

June 12, 1865. 
Mitchell, Sidney R. Mustered Aug. 8, 1864 ; transferred from 

Battery A, Sept. 23, 1864 ; mustered out June 12, ISO."). 
Moffett, Thomas. Mustered March 12, 1864 ; died Nov. 8, 1864, 

in hospital at Washington, D. C. 
Moofler, Horace S. Mustered Aug. 24, 1864 ; mustered out 

June 12, 1865. 
Morris, Albert. Mustered Feb. 15, 1865 ; mustered out June 12, 

1865. 
Morris, Charles. Mustered Feb. 15, 1865 ; mustered out June 

12, 1865. 
Morris, William H. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; discharged for 

disability April 11, 1863. 
Mowry, John B. See corporal. 
Newell, John. Mustered Feb. 28, 1865 ; mustered out June 12, 

1865. 



FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 371 

Nichols, George W. Mustered Aug. 5, 1864 ; transferred from 

Battery A, Sept. 23, 1864 ; mustered out June 12, 1865. 
Nichols, Joseph S. Mustered Aug. 5, 1864 ; transferred from 

Battery A, Sept. 23, 1865 ; mustered out June 12, 1865. 
Niles, Robert A. See artificer. 
Niles, Robert S. See artificer. 
Olney, Amos M. C. See quartermaster-sergeant. 
Olney, Luther C. See corporal. 
O'Sullivan, Cornelius. Mustered Feb. 21, 1865; mustered out 

June 12, 1865. 
Paine, Charles H. See corporal. 
Patterson, David B. See corporal. 

Pearce, Harvey. Mustered March 24, 1862 ; discharged for dis- 
ability March 20, 1863. 
Pearce, William. Mustered March 24, 1862 ; sent to hospital at 

Yorktown, Va., April, 1862 ; no further record. 
Pearce, William W. See corporal. 
Peckham, Edward M. See artificer. 
Peckham, Israel H. Mustered Feb. 27, 1862 ; transferred from 

Battery A, Sept. 23, 1864; mustered out Feb. 28, 1865. 
Pell, Jabesh. Mustered Feb. 17, 1865 ; mustered out June 12, 

1865. 
Perkins, Charles H. Mustered March 4, 1865 ; mustered out 

June 12, 1865. 
Perry, Nelson E. See corporal. 
Phetteplace, David. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; mustered out 

Aug. 12, 1864. 
Phetteplace, David H. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as corporal; 

reduced March 4, 1863 ; reenlisted Feb. 4, 1864 ; mustered out 

June 12, 1865. 
Phillips, Albert A. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; died Dec. 15, 

1862, in hospital at Alexandria, Va. 
Phillips, Francis E. See corporal. 

Phillips, Thomas W. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; wounded July 3, 

1863, at Gettysburg, Pa. ; transferred to Veteran Reserve 
Corps July 21, 1863 ; mustered out Aug. 12, 1864. 

Place, Joseph B. See artificer. 
Priestly, Francis T. See corporal. 

Preston, Henry A. Mustered Aug. 14, 1862 ; transferred from 
Battery A, Sept. 23, 1864 ; mustered out June 12, 1865. 



372 



HISTORY OF BATTERY B, 



Ramsden, John. Mustered March 7, 1865 ; mustered out June 12. 

1865. 
Rathbone, Calvin XV. See corporal. 
Remington, William B. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; mustered out 

Aug. 12, 1864. 
Reynolds, William F. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; wounded Dec. 

13, 1862, at Fredericksburg, Va. ; discharged for disability 

Feb. 18, 1863. 
Rider, Charles J. See sergeant. 
Riley, Charles F. Mustered March 19, 1862; taken prisoner 

Aug. 25, 1864, at Reams's Station, Va. ; transferred from Bat- 
tery A, Sept. 23, 1864 ; paroled Feb. 20, 1865 ; mustered out 

March 30, 1865. 
Rhodes, John H. See sergeant. 
Ryan, Peter. Mustered Dec. 30, 1862; deserted April 28, 1863, 

at Falmouth, Va. 
Sanford, Herbert D. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; wounded July 

2, 1863, at Gettysburg, Pa. ; sent to hospital at White Plains, 

Va., July 30,1863; mustered out Aug. 12, 1864, 
Sayles, Albert A. Mustered Aug. 12, 1864; mustered out June 

12, 1865. 
Scott, George 0. See artificer. 
Scott, Lewis W. Mustered Aug. 13, 1862 ; wounded Dec. 13, 

1862, at Fredericksburg, Va. ; transferred to Veteran Reserve 

Corps, Sept. 1, 1863. Discharged Aug. 13, 1865. 
Seamans, Ezekiel W. Mustered Aug. 13, 1862. Died Dec. 16, 

1862, in hospital at North Providence, R. I. • 
Sidders, Charles. Mustered March 7, 1864 ; transferred from 

Battery A, Sept. 23, 1864; mustered out June 12, 1865. 
Sisson, John J. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; wounded Dec. 13, 1862, 

at Fredericksburg, Va. ; transferred to Veteran Reserve Corps, 

Aug. 18, 1863; mustered out Aug. 12, 1864. 
Skifer, Carl. Mustered Jan. 3, 1863; mustered out June 12, 

1865. 
Slack, Isaac W. See artificer. 
Slaiger Francis. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; reenlisted Dec. 20, 

1863 ; wounded May 5, 1864, at Wilderness, Va. ; wounded 

June 3, 1864, at Cold Harbor; discharged Sept. 11, 1865. 
Smith, Charles E. See sergeant. 
Smith, George E. Mustered Feb. 16, 1865 ; mustered out June 

12, 1865. 



FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 373 

Smith, John. Mustered Feb. 16, 1865 ; mustered out June 12, 
1865. 

Sprague, Charles G. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; wounded July 
3, 1863, at Gettysburg, Pa. ; reenlisted Feb. 4, 1864 ; mustered 
out June 12, 1865. 

Stacy, Herbert. Mustered Aug. 28, 1862 ; transferred from Bat- 
tery A, Sept. 23, 1864 ; mustered out June 12, 1865. 

Staples, Ernest. See first sergeant. 

Steere, Thomas P. Mustered Aug. 4 , 1862; transferred from 
Battery A, Sept. 23, 1864 ; mustered out June 12, 1865. 

Stinson, James. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; transferred to Battery 
D, Jan. 1, 1862. 

Stephens, Charles. Mustered July 29, 186 4 ; mustered out June 
12, 1865. 

Stone, Almanzo S. Mustered March 7, 1864; transferred from 
Battery A, Sept. 23, 1864 ; mustered out June 12, 1865. 

Stone, Alpheus R. Mustered Jan. 2, 1863 ; discharged for dis- 
ability March 27, 1864. 

Straight, Albert. See sergeant. 

Sweet, James A. See artificer. 

Tabor, George. Mustered April 12, 1864 ; transferred from Bat- 
tery A, Sept. 23, 1864 ; mustered out June 12, 1865. 

Talbot, George H. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as corporal; re- 
duced Sept. 7, 1862 ; discharged for disability March 28, 1863. 

Tallman, W. Irving. Mustered March 7, 1864 ; taken prisoner 
Aug. 25, 1864, at Reams's Station, Va. ; paroled Sept. 24, 
1864; mustered out June 12, 1865. 

Tanner, William M. See corporal. 

Taylor, Daniel C. See artificer. 

Taylor, William H. Mustered June 6, 1861 ; reenlisted Dec. 18, 
1863; transferred from Battery A, Sept. 23, 1864; mustered 
out June 12, 1861. 

Thayer, Ziba C. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861; corporal Dec. 15, 
1861 ; reduced March 2, 1862; discharged for disability Feb. 
7, 1863. 

Thompson, James. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; discharged for dis- 
ability Oct. 23, 1862. 

Thompson, William. Mustered July 27, 1864; transferred from 
Battery A, Sept. 23, 1864 ; mustered out June 12, 1865. 

Thornton, James D. Mustered March 14, 1865 ; mustered out 
June 12, 1865. 






374 HISTOHY OF BATTERY B, 

Thornton, John A. Mustered Aug. 4, 1862; transferred from 

Battery A, Sept. 23, 1864 ; mustered out June 12, 1865. 
Thurber, Darius N. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861, as corporal; re- 
duced Sept. 30, 1861 ; discharged for disability Oct. 23, 1862. 
Thurston, Daniel B. See artificer. 
Tillinghast, James A. Mustered Oct. 5, 1861 ; discharged for 

disability Dec. 19, 1862. 
Tillinghast, Merritt. Mustered Oct. 2, 1861 ; discharged Oct. 

3, 1864. 
Trescott, JohnF. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; died March 29, 1862, 

at Providence, R. I. 
Tucker, Silas G. See sergeant. 
Tucker, Welcome C. See artificer. 

Vickery, Otis. Mustered March 10, 1862 ; transferred from Bat- 
tery A, Sept. 23, 1864 ; mustered out March 13, 1865. 
Walker, Benjamin W. Mustered Aug. 15, 1862 ; taken prisoner 

Aug. 25, 1864, at Reams's Station, Va. ; paroled Oct. 8, 1864 ; 

mustered out June 12, 1865. 
Walker, Joseph. Mustered March 8, 1865; mustered out June 

12, 1865. 
Walker, Pardon S. See sergeant. 
Wardlow, John E. See sergeant. 
Wagner, William. Mustered Feb. 29, 1864 ; transferred from 

Battery A, Sept. 23, 1864 ; mustered out June 12, 1865. 
Warren, Charles. Mustered Jan. 5, 1863; deserted Jan. 17, 

1863. 
Weeks, Jerome. Mustered March 24, 1862; discharged March 

24, 1865. 
Wellman, Henry A. Mustered Sept. 4, 1862; taken prisoner 

Aug. 25, 1864, at Reams's Station, Va. ; transferred from 

Battery A, Sept. 23, 1864 ; paroled March 10, 1865 ; mustered 

out June 12, 1865. 
Wellman, George A. Mustered June 6, 1861 ; deserted Feb. 26, 

1863; arrested; transferred from Battery A, Sept. 23, 1864: 

mustered out June 12, 1865. 
Wells, William P. See corporal. 
Wilbur, William B. Mustered Aug. 3, 1864; transferred from 

Battery A, Sept. 23, 1864 ; mustered out June 12, 1865. 
Wilder, Abel. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; reenlisted Feb. 9, 

1864 ; transferred from Battery A, Sept. 23, 18G4 ; mustered 

out June 12, 1865. 



FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 



375 



Wilkinson, Robert. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; reenlisted Feb. 
4, 1864 ; mustered out June 12, 1865. 

Williams, Alanson A. See first sergeant. 

Winsor, William W . Mustered Aug. 8, 1862; taken prisoner 
Aug. 25, 1864, at Reams's Station, Va. ; transferred from Bat- 
tery A, Sept. 23, 1864 ; died Feb. 22, 1865, on the cars near 
Salisbury, N. C. 

Whipple, Albert J. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; wounded July 2, 
1863, at Gettysburg, Pa. ; mustered out Aug. 12, 1864. 

Whipple, Edward B. See corporal. 

Whitford, John U. Mustered Feb. 16, 1864 ; transferred from 
Battery A, Sept. 23, 1864; discharged for disability Sept. 26, 
1864. 

Whiting, Leonard J. See sergeant. 

W r ooD, Charles W. See corporal. 

Wood, William B. Mustered Feb. 6, 1862 ; discharged for dis- 
ability Sept. 19, 1862. 

Woodbury, Thomas. Mustered March 6, 1865; mustered out 
June 12, 1865. 

Woodmansee, Clark L. Mustered Aug. 13, 1861 ; mustered out 
Aug. 12, 1864. 

Worthington, Charles B. See corporal. 




Q. M. Sergt. Charles A. Libbey. 



376 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, 



ROLL OF MEN TEMPORARILY ATTACHED, 



From Battery B, First Neio Jersey Artillery, from Sept. 23, to 
Oct. 31, 1864: Second Lieut. Robert Fairchild. 

From the Thirty-fourth New York Regiment, Dec. 23, 1862, to 
June 9, 1863 : Charles Flynn, George Hobby, Charles Powers, 
James Reddan, David Smith, Thomas Sandford. 

From the Fifteenth Massachusetts Regiment, from Feb., 1863, to 

: Ethan Allen ; Ainos Broad, wounded July 3, 1863, at 

Gettysburg; Mitchel Butterfield ; Dyer Cady, wounded July 2, 
1863, at Gettysburg ; Michael Flynn, killed July 2, 1863, at Gettys- 
burg ; Winthrop Maynard, Oliver W. Moore. 

From the Nineteenth Maine Regiment, from April, 1863, to : 

James Bean ; Ira Bennett, killed July 2, 1863, at Gettysburg ; James 
Bowe, Elliott Collins; Ezra L. Fowles, killed May 9, 1864, at Po 
River ; Charles Goodwin, Henry C. Goodwin, Morrison Heal, Wil- 
liam Kitridge, Sumner Merrill ; Louis Moulton, wounded July 2, 
1863, at Gettysburg; Peleg Staples, wounded July 2, 1863, at Get- 
tysburg; George Tibbetts, blacksmith; James Tyler, John Wein- 
burg, Randall K. Whitten. 

From tlic Seventy -second Pennsylvania Regiment, from May, 

1863, to : John Gray, wounded at Gettysburg July 3, 

1863 ; Michael Kelley, Albert Neinburg. 

From the One hundred anil fortieth Pennsylvania Regiment, from 
May 26, 1863, to March 29, 1864: James Baird, wounded July 
2, 1863, at Gettysburg; Joseph Brackell, J. W. Dill; J. M. Dye, 
lance corporal ; James B. Foster ; Jacob Frazee, wounded July 3, 
1863, at Gettysburg ; John F. Gardner, Thomas Glennon ; Thomas 
Ilardusty, lance corporal; Stephen C. Harris, Joseph Hemphill, 
James Miller, James L. Noah ; Peter Phillips, wounded July 3, 
1863, at Gettysburg; Joseph B. Porter, John H. Seiples, Peter 
Shevlin, Simon S. West, John D. Wishart, James Young. 



FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 377 

From the Sixty-ninth Pennsylvania Regiment, from Sept. 10, 
18G3 : Stephen Boyle, ambulance driver. 

From Battery I, First United States Artillery, from Oct. 19, 

1863 : William Bruce, Robert H. Cooper, William T. Cooper, 
James Crooks, Edward B. Curtis ; John Fox, lance sergeant ; John 
H. Huller, William James, Ludwick Ling, John McGuire, David 
N. Minesinger, Henry Odell, John G. Pierce, Joseph Rhodenburg, 
Washington M. Whitlock. 

From Battery G, First New York Artillery, from Jan. 1, 1864, 

to : James Cavanaugh, Richard Fetthousen, Peter Guinan, 

Timothy Lyons, Charles McGlocklin, Fred. Smith, Patrick Staer. 

From Battery C, First Pennsylvania Artillery, from March, 1864, 

to : Peter Barry, Daniel Burch, Sidney Case, Dennis Dailey, 

James McCormick, Thomas McCormick, Henry Mason, Samuel 
Mason, Simon Mason, George Monroe, John Monroe, Ranford 
Riggs, Patrick Wardon, John Williams, Josiah Williston. 

From Battery F, First Pennsylvania Artillery, from April to July, 

1864 : William Ammons, George W. Angstadt, Samuel B. Baker, 
Christian Benneville, Charles Briner, Henry W. Call, William H. 
Decker; Isaac Grimes, wounded May 9, 1863, at Po River; Patrick 
Gimley, William Halligan, Charles Hauck, Samuel Hofmaster, 
Isaac Humrell, Lewis Katzantz, Henry Kisel, William Kline, Milton 
Lehman, Peter McKinney, William McKinney, George A. Messno, 
Lewis Miduer, John Moore, Jacob F. Morton, Patrick Nealon, Timo- 
thy O'Brien, Samuel Perry, Edwin H. Peters, Thomas W. M. Pot- 
ter, George Roland, John Roouey, Joseph Ruth, Adam Schwalb, 
John Stevenson, David Stuut, Eli Trine ; Charles T. Wathline, 
wounded May 9, 1863, at Po River; Lewis Weibner, Edward Wil- 
liston, Franklin Young. 

From Fourth New York Heavy Artillery, from July 15, 1864, to 

: Charles H. Bacon, Morris Bartell, Thomas Batters, Henry 

Birch, William Bissell ; Henry Blake, taken prisoner Aug. 25, 1864, 
at Reams's Station ; Thomas Blanchard, taken prisoner Aug. 25, 
1864, at Reams's Station ; Martin Briton, Peter Guidan, John B. 
French, Thomas Healy, John F. Hogland ; William A. Livingston, 
taken prisoner Aug. 25, 1864, at Reams's Station; Michael Muffy, 
James Murphy ; Joseph Rockwell, taken prisoner Aug. 25, 1864, at 
Reams's Station ; E. S. Roe, Henry Smith ; James Smith, taken pris- 
oner Aug. 25, 1864, at Reams's Station ; Isaac Stewart, William 
Stoneburner, Albert Tyler, Frederick Vanderhide, James Weller, 



378 



HISTORY OF BATTERY B, 



Francis B. Whitman, Abel Wickfet, Henry Williams, A. Wright ; 
Charles E. and John B. Wright, both taken prisoners Aug. 25, 
1864, at Reams's Station. 

From Battery B, First New Jersey Artillery ; Alfred Hartreane, 
as Lieutenant Fairchild's servant. 

There were thirty-nine men from different regiments who served 
from one to two weeks whose names were not carried on the rolls, of 
which there is no record, so their names are not obtainable. 




Corp. Calvin W. Rathbone. 



FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 379 



APPENDIX A, 



THE GETTYSBURG GUN. 

THE brass field piece which stands on the granite pedestal at 
the south side of the State House parade has a history un- 
equaled perhaps by any other gun that did service in the war 
for the Union. An honorable history it is, for it was the prize for 
which, in that terrible battle of Gettysburg, brave men on both sides 
contended in a deadly hand to hand encounter. The batterymen, 
backed by the brave Sixty-ninth Pennsylvania, finally won the prize, 
but a dearly bought one it was, for it was paid for by the sacrifice of 
the lives of many gallant men. 

The Gettysburg gun was one of the park of six brass field light 
twelve-pounder Napoleons which the battery l-eceived at Harrison 
Landing, Va., in exchange for the ten-pounder Parrotts with which 
the battery was equipped during the Peninsular Campaign. (See 
page 109, July 31st.) 

In 1870 the surviving members of the battery held a reunion at 
Rocky Point, R. I., on the thirteenth day of August, that being the 
anniversary of the date of their muster into the United States ser- 
vice, and there formed a veteran association to hold annual reunions 
upon that day. At the reunions held afterward the subject of this 
gun has been an animated matter of discussion. Through efforts of 
the members of the Association, the citizens of Rhode Island, and 
Hon. Henry B. Anthony, late senator from this State, Congress 
honored the Association with the privilege of placing this memento 
of the battle of Gettysburg in the care and protection of the State of 
Rhode Island. 

In 1874, Daniel C. Taylor, then president of Battery B, Veteran 
Association, was largely instrumental in having the gun turned over 
from the general government to the State, and, with Lieut. James 
E. Chace and Jacob B. Lewis, was appointed a committee to go to 



380 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, 

Washington, D. C, to receive the gun; also a copy of the act of 
Congress giving the gun to the State. This copy was obtained by 
Senator Henry B. Anthony, who had it suitably engrossed and pre- 
sented to the Association. 

The following is a copy of the act of Congress : 

AN ACT AUTHORIZING THE SECRETARY OF WAR TO DELIVER 
TO THE STATE AUTHORITIES OF RHODE ISLAND A CER- 
TAIN GUN. 

Be it enacted by the Senate ami House of Representatives of the United 
States of America in Congress assembled : 

That the Secretary of War be and he is hereby authorized to deliver, 
if the same can be done without detriment to the government, to the 
proper authorities of the State of Rhode Island, a certain gun marked 
Battery B First Regiment of Rhode Island Light Artillery, battle of 
Gettysburg, for the purpose of being placed among the archives of that 
State. 

JAMES G. BLAINE, 

Speaker of House of Representatives. 

[Seal.] MATT. H. CARPENTER, 

President of the Senate pro tern. 



Approved Feb. 19, 1874. 



U. S. GRANT. 



At Providence, R. I., on May 21, 1874, there was a grand mili- 
tary demonstration on the reception of Battery B's relic, and the de- 
livery of the gun to the State, which took place under very trying 
and moist aspects of the weather, with the following committees in 
charge, viz. : 

Governor Henry Howard, Gen. Charles R. Dennis, Hon. J. M. Adde- 
man in behalf of the State; Mayor Thomas A. Doyle, Col. N. Van Slyck, 
Henry R. Barker, in behalf of the city; Col. A. C. Eddy, George R. 
Drowne, Lieut. James E. Chace, John F. Hanson, Finance Committee; 
Col. J. Albert Monroe, Col. E. H. Rhodes, Jacob B. Lewis, Programme 
Committee; Gen. Charles R. Dennis, Edwin Metcalf, Silas G. Tucker, 
Reception Committee; Lieut. James E. Chace, Daniel C. Taylor, Jacob 
B. Lewis, Gun Committee; Col. J. Albert Monroe, Chief Marshal; 
Col. E. II. Rhodes, Chief of Staff. 

The patter of the rain Thursday morning was anything but merry 
music to the men of Battery B who heard it, and to the veterans and 
militia who were to join them, in the parade and demonstration. 

Everything looked blue to the veterans except the sky, and that was 



FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 381 

dull enough, while the rain poured as if it had set in for a long storm 
and was taking it easy. Old Probabilities was anxiously consulted, 
but he had no encouragement to offer. But in spite of the weather 
flags were thrown to the breeze from public and private flag-staffs as 
if to encourage us. 

In front of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument on P^xchange Place 
a stand had been erected for the formal exercises, with a national 
flag flying at each corner, and in the centre a banner bearing the 
clover leaf (Trefoil) of the Second Corps, under which in a scroll 
was the thrilling word, " Gettysburg." There was little evidence 
that this stand would be wanted or used that day. 

The marshal and commanding officers of various organizations 
met together to consult about postponement. Postponement meant 
almost certain failure, while if carried out the demonstration, if not 
what was expected and wished, would at least have the merit of 
spirit and punctuality, and show that when the veterans take hold of 
anything they mean business. 

Before a decision was reached the cars arrived from Westerly 
bringing the Westerly Rifle Battalion of one hundred and three men, 
under command of Col. A. N. Crandall, who, undaunted by the 
weather, had come to parade. This was encouraging certainly, and 
before the enthusiasm created by this had subsided, the boat arrived 
from Newport with two bands and the Newport Artillery and Vete- 
ran Association. More encouragement and matters began to as- 
sume more life. 

Lieut. -Col. Bullock of the First Light Infantry Regiment on be- 
ing asked what his command would do, quickly replied, " We 
shall parade if you do." And the same reply was received from the 
United Train of Artillery, the Marine Artillery, and many of the 
other organizations. With all this encouragement and the fact that 
most of the men had come prepared to parade, the matter was de- 
cided and the order given : " Prepare for Parade." 

The rain, however, caused some changes in the proceedings, the 
route of march was cut short, and Music Hall was engaged for the 
exercises intended for Exchauge Place. 

An arrangement was made for an artillery signal at two o'clock to 
inform the different organizations what to do. At half-past one 
o'clock it let up somewhat, and just about two o'clock the Marine 
Artillery marched into Exchange Place and fired the signal gun, 
which said to those in waiting — Parade ! 



382 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, 

At this time a large force of the umbrella brigade lined the side- 
walks, while every window on Exchange Place was crowded to the 
utmost, and matters soon began to assume a lively aspect. 

The militia was promptly on hand, soou followed by the other or- 
ganizations arriving from different directions, and all were assigned 
positions. 

THE LINE. 

Col. J. Albert Monroe, Chief Marshal. 
Col. Elisha H. Khocles, Chief of Staff. 



First Division, Mounted Troops. 

Lieut.-Col. Stephen Brownell, Assistant Marshal. 

Providence Horse Guards, Col. J. Lippitt Snow commanding, and staff 

of six field officers. 

Company A, Capt. George B. Inman, three officers and fifteen men. 

Company B, Capt. David Lester, two officers and fifteen men. 

Paw tucket Horse Guards, Maj. J. W. Leckie commanding, staff and 

line officers, thirty-five men. 

Tower Light Battery, Pawtucket, Maj. Daniel Briggs commanding, one 

officer and sixteen men. 



Second Division, Mounted Light Battery. 

Adjt. J. M. Hull, Assistant Marshal. 

Providence Marine Corps of Artillery, Lieut.-Col. Robert Grosvenor 

commanding, eight officers and six pieces and caissons fully 

manned. 



Third Division, Veteran Associations. 

Lieut. James E. Chace, Assistant Marshal. 

Platoon of Police, Sergeant Warner.' 

American Band, D. W. Reeves, leader, twenty-eight pieces. 

First Regiment Rhode Island Veteran Association, thirty men. 

Second Regiment Rhode Island Veteran Association, Col. Horatio 

Rogers, President, fifty men. 
Third Regiment Rhode Island Veteran Association, Gen. Charles R. 

Brayton, President, sixty men. 
Ninth Regiment Rhode Island Veteran Association, J. T. Pitman, Presi- 
dent, twenty men. 
Eleventh Regiment, Rhode Island Veteran Association, Robert Fessen- 

(Uii, President, twenty men. 
First Regiment Rhode Island Light Artillery Veteran Association, I. R. 

Sheldon, Vice-President, forty men. 

Ives Post, No. 13, G. A. R., R. F. Nicola, commander, twenty-five men. 

Battery B, First Rhode Island Light Artillery Veteran Association, 

Daniel C. Taylor, President, forty men. 



FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 383 

Gun detachment with the Gettysburg Gun. 
Lieut. Gideon Spencer, commanding. 

Sergt. John F. Hanson, orderly. 
Edwin A. Chase, sergeant of piece. 
Corporal Edward B. Whipple, gunner. 
No. 1. Benj. A. Burlingame. No. 2. Josiah McMeekin. 
No. 3. Joseph Cassin. No. 4. Charles D. Worthington. 

No. 5. John Delevan. No. 6. Charles Cornell. 

No. 7. Charles J. Rider. 
Drivers, Joseph A. Cole, lead; Levi J. Cornell, swing; Stephen Collins, 

wheel. 

John Healy, with the old headquarters flag of the Artillery Brigade of 

the Second Corps. 



The Fourth Division, Invited Guests. 

Sergt. Silas G. Tucker, Assistant Marshal. 

Governor Henry Howard, Lieut.-Governor C. C. Van Zandt, Adjt.-Gen. 

H. LeFavour, in carriage. 

Colonel Waterman, Colonel Barstow, Colonel Nightingale. 

Colonel Robinson of Governor's staff, mounted. 

Maj.-Gen. William R. Walker, Colonels Jenks and Fisk, Majors Tilling- 

hast, Deming and Pierce, of his staff, in carriage. 

Quartermaster-Gen. Chas. R. Dennis, Surgeon-General King, in carriage. 

Brigadier-General Burdick, Chaplain Jones, Surgeon Turner, Captains 

Marvel and Sisson of his staff, mounted. 

Brig.-Gen. Frederick Miller, and Capt. A. E. Greene, Capt. W. B. 

Vincent, of his staff, in carriage, all in new uniforms. 

Ma j. -Gen. G. K. Warren, U. S. A., commander of Fifth Army Corps. 

Major-General Averill, U. S. A., commander Cavalry Division. 

Col. A. P. Blunt, Quartermaster, U. S. A. 

Brig.-Gen. John G. Hazard, U. S. Volunteers. 

Col. W. H. Reynolds of First Regiment Rhode Island Light Artillery. 

Brev. Lieut.-Col. J. H. Rice, U. S. A., Maj. C. E. Rice, U. S. A. 

Capt. C. E. Bowers, Massachusetts Volunteers. 

Capt. N. N. Noyes, Boston Light Infantry. 

Capt. T. L. Harlow, Company C, Fourth Battalion of Infantry, and 

H. E. Hotchkiss, of New Haven, Conn. 
James Foley, of New York, and C. E. Tucker, Blackstone, Mass., all in 

carriages. 



Fifth Division, State Militia. 

Capt. C. Henry Barney, Assistant Marshal. 

Drum corps of eight pieces. 

Westerly Rifle Battalion, Col. A. N. Crandall commanding, with eight 

field and staff officers. 

Co. A, Capt. A. B. Dyer, four officers and forty-eight men. 

Co. B, Capt. J. A. Brown, four officers and thirty-five men. 



384 HISTORY OF BATTEKY B, 

Burnside National Guards, Maj. George H. Black commanding, three 

field and staff officers. 

Co. A, Capt. W. H. Scott, three officers and twenty-six men. 

Co. B, Capt. Thomas Brinn, three officers and thirty men. 

Co. C, Capt. Lewis Kenegee, three officers and thirty-two men. 

Newport Brass Band, J. E. O. Smith, leader, twenty-six pieces. 

United Train of Artillery, Col. Oscar Lapham commanding, six field 

and staff officers. 

Co. A, Capt. G. A. Dodge, three officers and twenty ?nen. 

Co. B, Capt. F. S. McCausland, two officers and twenty-two men. 

Co. C, Capt. C. G. Cahoone, two officers and twenty men. 

Gilmore's Pawtucket Band, T. J. Allen leader, twenty-two pieces. 

Rhode Island Guards, Col. J. Costine commanding, three staff and field 

officers. 

Co. A, J. H. McGann, three officers and thirty-eight men. 

Co. D, Capt. J. E. Curren, three officers and thirty men. 

Co. G, Lieut. William McPherson, two officers and thirty-six men. 

Co. H, Capt. James Leary, three officers and thirty-two men. 

First Light Infantry Drum Corps, G. W. Lewis, leader, twelve men. 

First Light Infantry Regiment, Col. R. II. I. Goddard commanding, four 

field and staff officers. 

Co. A, Capt. J. H. Kendrick, three officers and twenty-eight men. 

Co. B, Capt. E. F. Annable, three officers and twenty-seven men. 

Co. C, Capt. William Frankland, three officers and thirty-five men. 

Co. D, Capt. A. H. Hartwell, two officers and twenty-five men. 

Drum Major Charles AVhitters, of Hartford, Conn. 

National Band, William E. White, leader, twenty-seven pieces. 

Slocum Light Guards, Lieut.-Col. Benjamin P. Swarts commanding, two 

staff officers. 

Co. A, Capt. W. B. W. Hallett, three officers and twenty men. 

Co. B, Lieutenant B. McSoley, two officers and twenty men. 

The First Light Infantry Regiment wore their fatigue uniforms, with 
red blankets belted at the waist. They had as their guests, Col. B. B. 
Martin, Maj. J. B. Childs, Adjt. B. M. Bosworth, Jr., and Quartermas- 
ter F. E. Dana, of the Warren Artillery, Col. Julius Sayles, Lieut.-Col. 
J. D. Seabury, Maj. Howard Smith, Capt. Silas De Blois, < v >. M. Benja- 
min Marsh, Surgeon Henry E. Turner, Paymaster George II. Wilson of 
the Newport Artillery Veteran Association, and Lieut.-Colonel Sherman 
of the Newport Artillery. The United Train of Artillery were attired 
in fatigue uniforms, with dress caps and pompon, and had for their 
guests the Westerly Ride Regiment, the Newport Brass Band, and the 
field and staff officers of the Pawtucket Light Guards. The Sloeum 
Light Guards were in fatigue dress and overcoats, and their guests were 
Capt. Morse, of Company G, Third Regiment Mass. Volunteer Militia, 
the Taunton Guards, of Taunton, Mass.; Capt. N. N. Noyes, of Boston 
Light Infantry, and Captain Hanlon and Lieut. Fallon of the Boston 
Tigers, Fourth Massachusetts Volunteer Militia. 



FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 



385 



A pleasant feature to the Battery men was the presence in the 
Association line of the old headquarters Hag of the Artillery Brig- 
ade of the Second Corps Army of the Potomac. 

At 3.15 p. m. the column moved in good order through the fol- 
lowing streets : Dorrance, up Westminster, Mathewson, Washing- 
ton, Franklin, clown High to Broad, Weybosset to Market Square, 
countermarching over the bridge through Washington Row to Ex- 
change Place, Dorrance to Westminster, up to Music Hall, which 
was reached at four o'clock, and though the rain was then falling 
briskly the streets were lined with interested spectators. The line 
was a fine one all things considered, and gave evidence of what the 
demonstration would have been had the weather been more favorable. 

At Music Hall the American Band, D. W. Reeves, leader, was 
stationed in the seats between the organ and the platform. On the 
platform were His Excellency Gov. Henry Howard and staff, Lieut. - 
Gov. C. C. Van Zandt, Maj.-Gen. A. E. Burnside, Maj.-Gen. W. 
R. Walker and staff; Brig.-Gen. F. Miller and staff; Rev. Carlton 
A. Staples, Orator of the Day ; Rev. D. H. Greer, Chaplain of 
the Day ; Daniel C. Taylor, President of Battery B Veteran Asso- 
ciation, Brig.-Gen. John G. Hazard, as presiding officer, and the 
different committees of arrangements. 

After music by the American Band and prayer by Chaplain Greer, 
the Chairman, General Hazard, introduced Daniel C. Taylor, Presi- 
dent of Battery B Veteran Association for the delivery of the gun 
to the State, which he said should make every Rhode Islander 
proud. 

President Taylor, who was warmly received upon coming for- 
ward, then formally delivered the gun to the State authorities in the 
following address : 

Your Excellency: As presiding officer of Battery B Veteran Asso- 
ciation, the duty devolves upon me to place in your custody and keeping, 
as chief executive officer of this State this piece of ordnance, conse- 
crated to liberty, and baptized in the blood of Rhode Island's sons. 
And to impress more fully upon your heart, if possible, the sacredness 
of this honored relic to us, I desire to give you a brief history of this 
gun from the time of its reception by us as a part of our battery until 
the present. 

During the Peninsular campaign the battery consisted of four Parrott 
guns and two brass howitzers. After the terrible seven days battle 
which terminated at Malvern Hill, and the Army of the Potomac found 
rest at Harrison's Landing, on the James River, Va., the vents of our 
guns were found to be in such a condition as to render the guns unfit for 

25 



386 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, 

service. They were therefore condemned, and their places supplied upon 
the 3 1st of July, 18(52, by a park of new guns, consisting of six brass 
twelve-pounder Napoleons, of which this gun was one. 

Upon the organization of the Army of the Potomac Battery B was at- 
tached to the Second Brigade, General Gorman; Second Division, Gen- 
eral Sedgwick; Second Corps, General Sumner, which position they held 
during the war, notwithstanding the various changes which took place 
of commanders of brigade, division or corps. The battery with this 
piece and others, was at the shelling of the town of Fredericksburg, Va., 
Dec. 11, 1862. Stationed at the right of the Lacy House, on a bluff over- 
looking the town, it fired 3S1 rounds of shot and shell upon the town and 
the rebel rifle-pits, when the pontoon bridge was being laid. On the 
morning of December 12th, at seven o'clock, we crossed the bridge and 
entered the town, being the first battery to cross at this place. 

At the battle of Fredericksburg, December loth, the battery was at 
four o'clock in the afternoon ordered to the front, and took position on 
the left of the road at the brick house in front of the stone wall, and 
here did good service. The battery did similar service at the second 
battle of Fredericksburg or Marye's Heights. 

About the 18th of June commenced the skirmishes which terminated 
in the great struggle of Gettysburg. 

July 1st the battery with the Second Corps arrived within three miles 
of the town, and July 2d was assigned position in battery about ten 
o'clock in line of the Second Corps and to the left of Cemetery Hill, our 
line being joined by the Third Corps on our left. In the afternoon while 
the Third Corps was engaged, the battery was advanced to the right and 
front, and engaged a rebel battery at once, and in this position the bat- 
tery was charged upon, and forced to retire to the rear of the lines of 
infantry. 

On the 3d of July the battery and this gun took part in that great 
artillery duel just before Pickett's grand charge, and it was in this fierce 
storm of shot and shell that this piece was struck by a shell which ex- 
ploded and killed two men in the act of loading it. This shell disabled 
the gun so that it could not be loaded. It was condemned and sent to 
Washington, D. C. At the Arsenal it was placed on exhibition, where it 
remained until this time; and, sir, I am proud to say that to me has been 
accorded the privilege of obtaining through our honored senator, Henry 
B. Anthony and others, this valued memento for the people of Rhode 
Island, and as an ever pleasant reminder to our children of that loyalty 
and fidelity to duty that actuated their sires, and may they learn and 
profit by the experience of their fathers. And in behalf of my comrades 
I desire to express the wish that this piece of ordnance may be depos- 
ited upon the green in front of the State House in this city within an ap- 
propriate enclosure, and that it be protected during the inclement season 
by a suitable covering. And with the strong conviction that our wishes 
will be carried out, I leave the piece in your possession and care. 

The address was very attentively listened to, and at its close was 
very earnestly applauded. 



FIRST RH"ODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 387 

Governor Howard who remained standing daring President Tay- 
lor's address responded as follows : 

Mr. President: Rhode Island accepts the honorable trust which you 
confide to her. She takes into her faithful keeping this mute witness, 
this interesting memento of the most decisive and glorious struggle 
known to the annals of freedom. More than this, reminded by its 
presence of the eventful scene which attended that triumph of our 
arms, of the heroic devotion and valor of her own ever honored sons, re- 
calling the noble and resolute ardor of patriotism which impelled them 
to stand an impregnable barrier between a flushed and superior force and 
the menaced firesides of the North, she assumes with the trust the higher 
guardianship of the holy memories and associations which this occasion 
revives, recognizing in the inspiration of the hour a lesson and a man- 
date for the future, she dedicates herself to the pious care of guarding 
with the reverent tenderness of a mother's love, the fair fame of those 
who stood for her and the nation on the ensanguined crest of Gettys- 
burg. Survivors of the field, your State folds you in its grateful arms 
to-day. Spirits above who poured out your young lives in availing 
though costly sacrifice for us, receive the inadequate homage of our sad- 
dened remembrance and our eternal gratitude. 

The governor's remarks elicited another spirited manifestation of 
approval. 

The chairman, General Hazard, then introduced the Orator of 
the Day, Rev. Carlton A. Staples, late Chaplain United States Vol- 
unteers, who delivered the following eloquent oration : 

Rev. C. A. Staples' s Oration. 

The occasion which has brought us together is one of no ordinary in- 
terest. This gun which has now been delivered up to the State of Rhode 
Island is a sacred relic of the war which saved the Union. By the valor 
of your sons it did good service in that war, and in the blood of your 
sons it was baptized. Let us call it then a precious, a sacred memento. 
For suffering borne in a noble cause, sacrifice cheerfully made for the 
highest interest of man, life yielded up heroically in defence of honor, 
of country, of freedom, make any object or spot sacred to the human 
breast. Hence the undying interest which gathers about every place 
where martyrs have suffered or heroes have died for the truth. Hence 
the reverence with which we trace the footsteps of the first settlers on 
this wild New England shore. Hence the solemn feeling that steals 
over the soul at Thermopylae and Marathon, at Bannockburn and Marston 
Moor, at Bunker Hill and Valley Forge. The heroism, suffering, and 
blood of men in behalf of country and right sanctify the meanest object 
and glorify the humblest place. 

What but a life like Christ's, laid upon the altar of a love for man so 
broad, sweet and high, could have changed an instrument of torture and 



388 HISTORY OF BATTERY B, 

shame like the cross into an object of inspiration and of beauty. Since 
the war we have felt a new respect for the musket, the cannon, and the 
soldier. Not that war seems less dreadful, or, when waged in behalf of 
injustice and for territorial conquest, less wicked. No pen has ever ade- 
quately pictured its horrors. No Christian heart but shrinks from it 
as from the fires of hell. No real soldier who has been in one battle 
ever desires to be in another. But horrible as war always is and must 
be, there are things worse than war — national disgrace and dishonor are 
worse ; national indifference to principles of justice, to the inalienable 
rights of man, and all the interests of his higher nature, are worse. 
Better war with all its suffering agony and loss, than a peace of moral 
stagnation and decay. We are fond of saying that " The pen is mightier 
than the sword." But when the pen is enlisted in the cause of robbery 
and oppression, it produces a state of society at last which only the 
sword can purify. Thought may be a weapon stronger than cannon 
balls. But wrong thinking, and wrong acting, to which it so often leads, 
sometimes necessitates the use of cannon balls to beat down the false- 
hood and let in the light of truth. It is right thinking, and what is no- 
bler, right living, that are to sheathe every sword at last, and stop the 
mouth of every gun. Unless the pen, therefore, be guided by an intel- 
ligent mind, and an honest and good heart, these instruments of de- 
struction will be needed to undo its baleful work. 

Looking at the War of the Kebellion from this point of view, and in 
this connection, as sve stand around this sacred memento, we feel toward 
it something of the tenderness and respect of the Arab for the noble 
steed that has saved him from his mortal foe. 

For this gun, manned by our brothers and sons on many a battlefield, 
has beaten back the hosts that sought our country's ruin. At Gettys- 
burg it saved our Northern cities from being sacked and burned, and our 
homes from devastation and death. 

With its hundred fellows it kept our line firm and strong on that mo- 
mentous day, and broke to pieces the ranks of the advancing foe. Those 
guns and bayonets in the hands of our valiant men knocked the shackles 
from the limbs of three million slaves, and made the Declaration of In- 
dependence something more than a glittering generality in this land. 
They swept away as in a whirlwind of flame a thousand old falsehoods 
and wrongs, and let in the light which pulpit, platform and press had 
resolutely barred out. They made it possible for an American citizen 
to call his country a land of equal rights and privileges without a flush 
of shame. 

Take this gun, then, and place it among the proudest archives of the 
State. Cherish it as a precious legacy from the men who bore it into 
the forefront of the battle, and laid down their lives in serving it there. 
Tell your children and your children's children the story of its triumph: 
a triumph not of men over men, but of truth over error; right over 
wrong; freedom over slavery. And bid them remember that whenever 
they cling to false principles and base practice in the conduct of the gov- 
ernment, embody the idea in law that any class, condition or sect may 
have superior privileges or power, and array themselves against the 



FIRST RHODE ISLAND LIGHT ARTILLERY. 389 

reform of any injustice or corruption in the State, they are building up 
a condition of society, which, at last will surely let loose the dogs of 
war. For so deep in the soul has the Almighty planted the love of jus- 
tice, and of equality before the law, that no community can outrage that 
sentiment even in its treatment of the lowest members without kindling 
in its own bosom the fire of ceaseless strife, and destroying the fabric of 
its own peace and power, " First pure, then peaceable," says the Apos- 
tle. It is as truly the divine order in social and political life as it is in 
the experience of the individual soul. 

Of the history of the battery to which this gun belonged, it does not 
need that I should speak. The story of its organization, its long 
marches, its fierce and bloody conflicts with the foe, its faithful service 
and its heroic sacrifice, has been already told by one who bore a part in 
these things, and by whom they are much better understood. 

Among those who lost their lives in this engagement we would men- 
tion Second Lieut. Joseph S. Milne, a gentleman and a soldier, who is 
said to have endeared himself to the hearts of his brother officers, and 
commanded the love and respect of every member of the battery. He 
was born at Fall River, Mass., his father being a minister of the Gospel, 
and at the time of his death his mother was engaged in teaching a con- 
traband school at Hilton Head. A short time before he was employed 
at the Post and Herald office in this city, and was the only officer the 
battery lost during the service. 

The men shot at this gun were William Jones, a native of Boston, 
Mass., one of the